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Citizens group organizes against rezponing edict
Citizens group organizes against rezoning edict
By SUE REID
A group of Solon residents has formed a political action committee to oppose a planned rezoning issue on the November ballot for property at the southeast corner of SOM Center (Route 91) and Miles roads. The group filed this week with the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections.
Nancy Morel, president of the Chagrin Valley Estates Homeowners Association, said Tuesday that the newly formed committee has representation from every ward in the city. "The goal is to vote down the R-2 rezoning at Miles and SOM," she said.
City Council approved an ordinance at its last meeting submitting to the voters this November a court-ordered rezoning of the property owned by Parkstone Capital Partners. The rezoning before voters would be from R-1-D single-family residential to R-2 two-family residential. The rezoning has drawn opposition from residents in the area who appealed to the city to protect the integrity of the neighborhood.
Ms. Morel said the committee is waiting for the ballot language to be provided. "But we are still out there telling people and educating people and going ahead with our mission, which is to vote the rezoning down."
She said citizens interested in being involved with the committee can help in a number of ways. They can help deliver literature, write letters to the editor of newspapers or display a free yard sign, to name a few. Those interested in joining the group can call (440) 914-1388 and leave a message 24 hours, seven days a week.
"Already, we have whole neighborhoods who are being contacted," Ms. Morel said.
She said the committee is looking for ward-wide and citywide support to vote down the rezoning.
"If this is allowed to go through, it will set a precedent for the entire city," Ms. Morel said. If the rezoning is voted down and the judge would impose zoning there, "he would be going against the vote of the people and our charter," she said.
"If he does that, we would look to the city to uphold their oath to support the residents, and if that means an appeal, that is what we are looking for," Ms. Morel said. "According to our charter, the only way to rezone is to vote upon it. If we say no, how can you change our zoning?"
"The zoning is in place for single-family residential," Ms. Morel said. "This is a beautiful piece of property, and a gateway to our city. The developer knew it was zoned R-1-D when he purchased it."
Parkstone sued the city in October 2008, arguing that it could not develop the three contiguous properties under the current zoning. The Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas upheld the owner's contention and ordered the city to change the rezoning. The court found that the current zoning is not economically feasible and the developer should be entitled to a higher-density zoning.
If the voters reject the zoning, it could go back to the court, which would look at surrounding land uses to determine the appropriate zoning for the site.
Ward Councilman William D. Mooney said, in that case, he would vote to appeal.
"I've been working with Nancy (Morel) on several things," Mr. Mooney said. "I will be sending a newsletter out announcing I am against the rezoning."
Law Director David J. Matty had no comment on the issue when contacted Tuesday.
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