Streetsboro is spending about $60,000 on a residential and commercial market analysis, but council members expressed concern about keeping large lots in rural areas.
John Cieszkowski, the city’s planning and zoning director, said such a study has not been done in the city’s past.
“I think this is the next logical step to implementing the core concept plan,” he said.
The study, by the Urban Decision Group, will cost $57,680 and will take about six months to complete. At least three staff members will be dedicated to the project.
“The project will kick off in the first month and have detailed demographic and market profiles to review at six- to eight-week mark when the team descends on Streetsboro to conduct field work,” the proposal states.
But Councilman Steve Michniak expressed concern about a part of the proposal that suggests determining “the feasibility/reasonableness” of keeping the current minimum lot size in the city’s rural residential zoning district. The proposal states that the city’s planning department wants to determine whether market forces would support a smaller lot size to attract development.
Council eventually agreed to move forward with the study, but excluded that portion of the proposal.
Cieszkowski said the minimum lot size in the rural district was increased at one point, and he wanted that to be looked at in light of today’s market trends.
Michniak said he’s concerned that developers will want to put 10 houses on an acre “and call it market trends.”
“I don’t think there’s a problem with our (rural residential) district right now, and I don’t think we need to be marketing farmland for big housing developments,” he said. “That’s going to put great strain on the schools, the police department, the fire department.”
Mayor Glenn Broska said that’s not the intention of the study. He said right now, the city’s zoning requires homes in the rural district to be on lots that are 2 to 2.5 acres, and he is wondering of 1.5 acres might be more appropriate for “estate homes” because some owners might not want a lot that large.
“We felt that by reducing it down to an acre and a half, you’re still going to maintain that rural atmosphere,” he said. “It certainly was never thought of by us to put big developments in the rural area … we don’t have a lot of farmland left.”
Councilman Justin Ring said it’s still important to protect the city against overzealous developers. The larger lots, he noted, are outlined in the city’s master plan.
Reporter Diane Smith can be reached at 330-298-1139 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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