New public hearing set for September 1
Loveland, Ohio – “ We’re approaching a traffic nightmare,” resident Courtney Hauck told City Council during open forum at their meeting on August 11. Hauk lives in a restored, historic Victorian home on State Route 48 (North Second Street) in North Loveland across the street from where Zika Homes hopes to build 28 condos.
Hauck then proceeded to outline sections of the zoning code that he believes should prohibit the development. He believes that the Planning and Zoning Commission “erred” when they recommended rezoning the land from medium density to multifamily use.
An application has been submitted on behalf of Joe Farruggia with Zicka Homes to re-zone property off North Second Street (St. Rt. 48) south of the Sentry Hill subdivision with the potential use to build a 28-unit condominium development. The area consists of approximately 5.529 acres of undeveloped land.
After a public hearing, the Planning and Zoning Commission, on July 21, with a 3 to 2 split-vote sent the proposal to City Council for a final decision. Assistant City Manager Tom Smith in recommending the zone change at the time, told the Commission, “It is the opinion of City staff that the proposed rezone would be consistent with the recommendations of the Downtown Strategic Plan, surrounding land uses, and poses very little significance in the disparity between the two zones in question. Therefore, City staff dos not believe that the integrity of the code, surrounding land uses, nor their density requirements will be jeopardized with regards to the applicant’s request for rezone.”
Hauck also told City Council that a home in the adjacent Sentry Hills subdivision recently sold for $880,000 and suggested that Zika should build high-end single-family housing that would further enhance the neighboring home values – instead of lowering them. He said that Zika was given a variance in 2017 for single family homes on the property, “But apparently decided they could not make enough money so came back with a far more profitable plan.” Hauck also expressed concern that access to the cemetery on the property promised by Zicka is not adequate because it would be too narrow for burials to take place there.
A few minutes later during the August 11 Council meeting City Manager Dave Kennedy recommended that the request be removed from the Council agenda and recommended a motion to send the application back to the Planning and Zoning Commission so they can obtain additional information as to how the project would meet the requirements of the code.
Kennedy said the project was not “fully vetted” from a zoning code standpoint by the Commission and he thought it best that it go back and be reevaluated. Kennedy said that he shared some of the same concerns regarding complying with the requirements of the code that Hauck expressed a few moments before.
Both Hauck and Kennedy cited Section 1115.06 of the code and the requirements Zicka must meet before the land can be re-zoned for more intense land use.
(a) Recommendations made only by the Planning and Zoning Commission shall be considered for map amendments. All recommendations by the Planning and Zoning Commission for zoning map amendments shall be consistent with the City’s adopted plans, goals, and policies and with the intent of this Zoning Code.
A. Prior to making a recommendation on a proposed rezoning, the Planning and Zoning Commission shall make a finding to determine if the following conditions exist. No rezoning of land shall be approved prior to specific documents finding at least one of the following:
1. There has been a change in demand for land which alters the information upon which the zoning map is based. A study indicates that there has been an increase in the demand for land in the requested zoning district. The study shall provide a rational basis for indicating why a change in the zoning map is warranted.
2. Proposed uses cannot be accommodated by sites already zoned in the City due to lack of transportation or utilities or other development constraints, or the market to be served by the proposed use cannot be effectively served by the location of the existing zoning district.
3. There is an error in the Code text or zoning map as enacted.
4. The City of Loveland’s current Comprehensive Master Plan specifies a different land use for the subject property other than that which is specified on the current zoning map.
City Council voted unanimously to send the condo proposal and re-zoning to multi-family use back to the Commission.
There, the process starts over again with a Public Hearing on September 1 at 7 PM at City Hall.
Concerns about increased traffic on St. Rt. 48 and gridlock going into Historic Downtown are the most often cited problem immediate neighbors have expressed about changing the land use to multi-family.
Hauck ended by saying he didn’t think the Zika proposal was the best project in the world and he would like to see the area remain single-family zoning.
Previous stories about the condo proposal:
You can watch video of residents speaking against the re-zoning during the July 21 public hearing at the Planning and Zoning Commission and watch the developer defend his proposal.