The Suburbanite, October 23, 2018
GREEN A local family has donated nearly five acres of property for future parkland development.
Green City Council accepted the donation of a 4.7 acre parcel of land from the Rayl family, along with an $86,755 donation for future maintenance of the property during its Oct. 9 meeting.
Councilman at-Large Justin Speight said the Rayl family hopes to have the parcel, located between South Main Street and Ewe Drive and adjacent to city-owned property, turned into parkland “available to all residents of Green.”
Speight thanked the family for the “kind donation,” and that sentiment was echoed by Council President Chris Humphrey.
“This takes civic participation to another level,” Humphrey said. “Not only the donation, but to provide funds to maintain the property over a long period of time. And the Rayl family is in our prayers, as Mr. (Bert) Rayl is in ill health.”
New development proposal for Massillon Road property
Many of the residents who vehemently opposed the rezoning of a roughly 8 acre parcel of property at Massillon and Graybill roads earlier this year spoke in favor of the rezoning at a public hearing prior to the regular council meeting.
Specifically, the requests the B-2 professional office zoning on the 8.65 acre parcel be changed to PD, planned development.
TWL Development’s initial plans, using allowable variances in the B-2 zoning to create a largely retail-based development to include a 22,000 square foot grocery store, and a restaurant with outdoor seating. However, a proposal to construct a senior and assisted living facility, along with fast food and other retail, and locating the developed areas closer to Massillon Road, has met with generally favorable response from nearby residents.
Susan Allen, vice president of TC Architects, and Darrel Siebert and Jeff Risner, of Echelon Senior Living Group, described the planned 126-unit senior facility.
April Drive resident Jane Weaver said residents were pleased with the cooperation shown by both companies. Her neighbor, Michael Cline, concurred.
″(The first plan) would be 100 percent retail,” Cline said. “I find this (new proposal) an appropriate mix of use; a senior complex with smaller retail. It will be quiet and not really intrusive.”
There was some opposition to the plan voiced at the hearing as well.
Developer and Green resident John Warmus, of Warmus Builders, said that he is opposed to making the area a planned development and that demand for business office space is sufficient enough to keep the zoning the B-2.
“I don’t understand why we would stray from the original vision for a project that we don’t need,” Warmus said. “Massillon Road is the gateway to our city. I feel it is important to stay true to that vision.”
Jennifer Ringer, director of business development at Greenview Assisted Living, said that while she does not question the quality of care at area assisted living facilities, she questions the need for another assisted living facility in the city.
Ringer cited a decline in nursing assistants, the strain on public services by assisted living facilities, and the fact that the average assisted living resident is 88 years old as seniors are staying in their own homes longer.
Seibert said Echelon has completed a market student and would not be pursuing the project if the company believed there was not a need in the community.
“If we didn’t feel there was a true need, or there was a lack of product, we would not be here today wasting everyone’s time,” he said. ”
City Council is expected to vote on the rezoning request at its next regular meeting Oct. 23.
Council also authorized Mayor Gerard Neugebauer to apply for Clean Ohio Green Space Conservation Program funds through the Ohio Public Works Commission to help fund the development of the Boettler-Southgate parks connector trail, which was recommended in an Akron Metropolitan Transportation Study survey; approved a resolution direction the Summit County Fiscal Office to advance property taxes due the city as soon as possible; and accepted the amounts and rates determined by the budget commission authorizing the city property tax levies and certifying them to the Summit County Fiscal Officer.