Terry is also asking for setback variances due to the small size of parcel. Only four neighbors actually spoke during the unusual public hearing. One, Lindsay Bayer, said about 328 neighbors have a signed a petition opposing the plan. She said had the public hearing been held in-person more than 100 were planning to attend.
She said the parcel is too small for the project; they were promised small retail establishments like coffee shops, wine bars and things the neighbors could use; and parking is a concern, among other reasons for opposition.
“We would like to plead to you to please not continue to let the precedent be set to change things and make changes for Mr. Terry to fit his business plans ...,” Bayer said. “Zoning is there for a reason and we’d like that protected.”
Trustee Tom Farrell said he wanted the matter continued to the next meeting because he wants Terry to address the concerns.
“I believe the use, whether the residents want to hear or not, was a permitted use under the ORC and our code and we have no choice but to approve that, regardless of what our thoughts are,” Farrell said. “However the fact that the building is asking for setbacks indicates, that it doesn’t fit on the lot. I’ve asked them to look at the sizing of the building, or the positioning so these variances aren’t needed and add brick.”
Terry told the Journal-News later he is making the requested changes so variances won’t be required. As for future retail, there is room for approximately 15 small shops, and he says they will come.
“The challenging perception is the residents of Carriage Hill believe that only businesses that serve their needs are warranted there,” Terry said. “When the reality of a location like Carriage Hill, the residents will typically only make up about 15% of the patrons that will support a local business there.”
Trustee Christine Matacic said she is keeping an open mind for her vote until she sees what Terry presents. Trustee Steve Schramm agreed with Farrell.
“As frustrating as I think it’s going to be to the homeowners there really is nothing we can do legally,” Schramm said. “Our vision plan allows it for that corridor ... I’ve always had to let the residents know that even though it can be frustrating in your minds, we have to look at it legally through the community, and if I could lose in court, and I probably would, do I want to put the township through an expensive court battle only to lose.”