Residential propety

Zoning change from residential to industrial heads in Aurora ballot

AURORA — One rezoning issue is heading for the Nov. 8 ballot, while another isn’t after City Council took action on June 27.

By Aug. 10, the city will send the Portage County Board of Elections an issue to rezone 25.4 acres on the west side of Highway 43 across from Aurora Industrial Parkway from residential R-4 to manufacturing, la processing and wholesale I-1.

Aurora 43 South LLC proposes to erect a 100,000 square foot industrial building on the land.

The proponent believes industrial zoning would be more appropriate, as property uses to the south and east correspond to zoning district I-1, and vacant industrial land is becoming scarce in the city.

A 57-unit subdivision had previously been proposed there, and Aurora 43 South LLC officials said the rezoning would not add children to local schools and would bring in taxes for the city.

“The industrial area along Route 43 between Mennonite Road and the southern city limits continues to be a prime location for economic development,” planning department staff at the Planning and Commission said. to the council.

At a public hearing preceding the Council vote, a few residents raised concerns about stormwater runoff and the buffer zone between the proposed building and Rainbow’s End homes.

Chief Legal Officer Dean DePiero said if residents agree to the rezoning, the planning commission and engineering department will thoroughly review buffering, landscaping and stormwater issues before a rezoning plan is made. final site for the building is approved.

Meanwhile, Council backed the planning committee’s recommendation not to approve an application to rezone 7.18 acres on the Maple Lane Extension, west of Evexia Cafe and north of Brown Services Center -Keidel, from planned community shopping C-3 to residential senior housing RS.

Had this issue been put to the voters and approved, Aurora Partners III had planned to build luxury self-contained adult condominiums there.

Harry Caplan, one of the partners, said a commercial development was approved for the property in 1995, but it had been difficult to find business/commercial tenants, so the land remained vacant. The R-3, C-1 and C-3 zoning districts surround the parcel.

“I think it would be a better use of the property to build a mature community that is pet friendly and ADA compliant, with electric car chargers and all the amenities needed for people who want to sell their Aurora homes but stay in Aurora and be as mobile as possible for as long as possible,” Caplan told the Council.

DePiero said the council should have created a residential seniors’ neighborhood first before the issue could go to voters because that designation is not currently in the zoning code.

However, planning department staff said the city’s last two master plans had designated the property for commercial purposes such as retail, offices, medicine and entertainment.

Planning staff also said the proposed residential density — 20 units per acre when only 2.5 units per acre or less are currently permitted — is far greater than any existing density permitted citywide.

“The property is not suitable for residential use,” the staff report said. “Higher density residences should be sited and serve as a transition zone between single family residential and commercial uses.”

And planning committee chairman Peter French said Caplan had shown no difficulty in justifying the rezoning.


The Board authorized payment of an additional $125,000 to Wertz Geotechnical Engineering Inc. for emergency construction inspection services. The money will come from the developers’ escrow fund.

A $3,675 amending agreement with James G. Zupka CPA has been approved. This is for additional audit services needed as the city spent over $750,000 in federal grants in 2021.

The 2023 fiscal budget has been adopted. It must be submitted to the Portage County Auditor by July 14. Property tax mileage on the books is expected to generate the following revenue in 2023:

general fund, $1.96 million; fire/paramedic fee, $960,469; fire protection fee, $174,838; police protection fee, $21,042; highways and bridges tax, $565,203; and park land acquisition, $383,474, while tax revenues are projected at $18.4 million.

The following hires/promotions have been approved: Fire Lt. David Horvath, Fire Captain Edward Grecol, Water Crew Chief Sonny Ferrante, Emergency Planning-Zoning Inspector Tylon Hilt, and Fire Drivers/ part-time Paramedics A Daniel Burnett, Jason Dailey, Justin Gvora, Brandon Hall, Tyler Hill, Michael Mickovic and Alexander Wain.

Passing its second reading is an order amending regulations dealing with the appeals process if the city revokes licensed contractors’ licenses. A public hearing was scheduled for August 15.

Mayor Ann Womer Benjamin announced that the city received a $340,028 refund of collection costs from the Regional Income Tax Agency. That’s more than the average $250,000 the city has received in recent years.

The mayor said the city has balances of $34.57 million unencumbered in all funds and $14.09 million unencumbered in the general fund. Through May, income tax collections were $1.65 million higher than a year ago.

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