Perrysburg overturns ruling on Kingston


PERRYSBURG – Kingston Residence of Perrysburg will be able to move forward with its planned nursing home
City Council Wednesday evening decided to overturn a July ruling by the Planning Commission denying
Kingston’s request for a special approval use and granting its appeal of the ruling.
"I think we’re very excited to move forward," said Kingston Construction Manager April Smucker
moments after council’s vote.
The Planning Commission had voted in July to deny Kingston’s request for a special approval use for the
site because the plans exceeded the maximum of 30 patient units per acre, and because the expansion,
which is to have 60 beds and add 18,000 square feet to the already-extant retirement community on East
Boundary Street, would have three stories. City code permits nursing facilities to have no more than two
The expansion is expected to create more than 70 new jobs and generate $2.8 million in annual payroll.
Kingston purchased the site of the Perrysburg Eye Center at 351 E. Boundary Street on April 25 for the
expansion, at a price of $1 million.
In presenting their appeal before council, Smucker noted that both Perrysburg Police Chief Dan Paez and
Fire Chief Jeff Klein had no safety concerns regarding a three story nursing facility, and argued that
the 30 patient units per acre restriction had been based on an outdated industry standard in which a
patient unit actually held two patients, not one. She also noted that the height of the building, as
well as the number of stories, is regulated by the city. The height of the proposed expansion – less
than 45 feet – complies with city ordinance, but the number of stories does not.
"Today we believe that there is no rational basis for regulating the number of stories in the
nursing home in addition to height," she said.
Smucker also indicated that the project is facing some upcoming deadlines next year, and the processes
involved are lengthy.
City Planning and Zoning Administrator Rick Thielen said at the appeal hearing that he did not argue with
Smucker’s reading of the 30 patient restriction.
"So when you do the math I don’t necessarily disagree with April’s interpretation of the code as
"Because I believed that the third story (restriction) was needed for safety reasons and we know
that that is not necessary, doesn’t that mean the code is arbitrary?" Councilwoman Maria Ermie
asked Law Director Mathew Beredo.
"I guess that’s a question you need to ask yourselves as city council," Beredo answered.
"The code is what it is."
"We’re elected to make decisions based on what’s best for the community," argued Council
President Joe Lawless.
Councilman Tim McCarthy argued for granting the appeal, saying the code should be revisited and that if
there are no safety concerns it would not be right to follow the two-story limitation.
"I would argue the opposite point," said Councilman Tom Mackin. While he said he has no issue
with the project or with Kingston, "the question is we have rules as they currently exist." He
said that the current law should be enforced and the code changed by appropriate means.
"I think that we run the risk, and I’ve said that before when appeals have come, of opening up
Pandora’s Box" if the current code is disregarded.
The issue was decided on a vote of 6-1, with Mackin serving as the lone ‘no’ vote.
The project has another hurdle to overcome – a zoning issue scheduled to go before council next month –
before it can fully move forward. Smucker said after the hearing that they plan to break ground on the
addition in the spring of 2013.

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