The Trustees closed the Public Hearing on 4-18-18, but tabled the vote on this rezoning issue. Notes from the Public Hearing are at the end of this email.
The high-density proposal is for 28 income-generating commercial acres on Concord-Hambden to be rezoned to tax-increasing high-density residential property, 3 homes per acre and small setbacks. About 72 homes on 28 acres.
Increases taxes. Concord needs commercial land.
- Concord must preserve our ever-dwindling income-generating commercial property and oppose tax-increasing high density residential housing. National and Lake County studies show that residential homes cost more of our tax money than it brings in. The county auditor and appraiser confirmed that commercially-zoned land pays a higher tax rate than residentially-zoned land.
- The Town Hall Neighborhood THN allows for office and professional services, retail and personal services and community facilities = income revenue for Concord.
- Trustees have provided NO PROPER, ECONOMIC ANALYSIS showing that the long-term financial security of Concord will be better with more residential and less commercial property. How could the Trustees possibly rezone any more land from commercial to residential without an independent, economic analysis?
- Mr. Galloway, 5-20-09 Town Hall Neighborhood rezoning, eliminating residential and only allowing commercial uses. “Concord has only 8% of its territory that can be used for commercial business development. And so we feel the need to maximize that in a way that benefits the residents from a commercial and business, economic standpoint and the future township leaders, giving them some cushion and some flexibility in the event that, you know, who knows what the future holds in terms of local government in the state of Ohio.”
- Trustees have spent so much time and money on their Town Center “Vision” and surrounding area, they have not done enough to attract businesses to remaining commercial areas in Concord.
- Trustees have already allowed Concord’s dwindling commercial land to be eroded with high-density homes, as they passed zoning text to allow up to 8 units per acre on 30% of the Capital District along Auburn.
- The developer projects his residential traffic load will be 689 trips per day. If the Town Hall Neighborhood property is filled with businesses similar to adjacent businesses (see below) there would be only 260 trips per day.
- The new elementary school on this road will increase traffic substantially. It is not sound planning to increase traffic further with high density homes.
Ugly gateway to the Town Hall Commons. Not semi-rural.
- The proposed plan will have the BACK of homes showing along Concord-Hambden. As Andy Lingenfelter said when he saw the plan, “He’s just got them crammed in there.”
- Mr. Galloway 5-20-09 rezoning to Town Hall Neighborhood. “That's, again, on us to then look at, well, what do people that live in Quail Hollow, people that live on Concord Hambden, folks that live on Ravenna, how can we create an area that's going to keep the semi-rural Concord flavor…”
Zoning by developer requests, not contemplating big picture and revenue implications
Osborne has been trying to rezone this property to residential for years. This is the latest attempt. The Zoning Commission stated that only residential applications have been submitted so let’s change the property. Unfortunately, that’s not how zoning decisions should be made. The developers can make great money, but the township usually loses. Citizens lives with the results forever.
At the 3-7-18 meeting to rezone a small piece of the Town Hall Neighborhood commercial land to residential, Connie Luhta’s rationale, “It feels residential to me.”
Trustees just rezoned some of this property to standard 2 homes per acre, R-1 density. (3-7-18)
The proposed density is too high for the area. Part of the Town Hall Neighborhood was rezoned by Trustees, only one month ago, and allows only standard 2 homes per acre and setbacks. Quail Hollow density is 3 homes per acre, but has a 100-acre minimum and required 40% open space. The proposed density is 3 homes per acre, with only 15% open space required and very small setbacks. The homes can be as small as 1200 sq feet with 7.5-foot side yards.
Stormwater is not an issue
- Trustees are trying to rationalize the loss of commercial property stating stormwater is an issue. The County calculates the proposed stormwater for every development, regardless of whether it’s a commercial or residential use, and requires the developer to effectively manage stormwater's removal.
WHAT 3 HOMES PER ACRE LOOKS LIKE
The map below and attached shows what the developer’s Osborne property might look like, given the zoning text he proposed. At the meeting, only the zoning text change will be discussed.
PROPOSED DENSITY TOO HIGH FOR AREA
SETBACKS MUCH SMALLER THAN REGULAR RESIDENTIAL
Below is a comparison of the setbacks. They’re squeezing in all the housing, with little room between homes and property lines. Currently, this is the property with the active oil and gas well and tank batteries.
Trustees cancelled Nov. 15th, last trustee meeting before they select a Master Developer for their RFP...
Which means there will now be no formal citizen input prior to the trustees selecting their Master Developer for their risky, high-density Town Center “Vision” on Dec 1. We strongly believe the points below must be addressed before any development is even considered. If you have additional concerns for the trustees regarding their Town Center "Vision" and selection of a Master Developer, please email concerns to email@example.com by Wednesday. Defend Concord will add them to an official letter to the trustees. As always, also register your concerns directly with the trustees. During the campaign, the trustees were adamant that residents must be on board with the proposal, yet are now not getting citizen input.
The following issues have not yet been addressed.
The trustees must provide citizens with the following, prior to signing any agreement with the Master Developer.
1.) Master Developer’s actual plan, which is currently confidential.
2.) Study showing that Millennials, who the trustees say they are trying to attract, will make the Town Center their home.
3.) Traffic study showing the additional traffic won’t increase congestion or current travel time.
4.) Economic analysis demonstrating a mixed use Town Center will generate more tax revenue than commercial and light industrial development.
5.) Study proving this project will sustain itself using JEDD funds, even with low occupancy.
6.) Promise residents that no subsidies, including tax increment financing, will be used on his project.
Dear supporters of Defend Concord,
We wanted to take a moment to thank you for the months of support, effort and involvement that you have given to Defend Concord and to the entire Concord Township community.
Although we were unable to defeat the political machine that has been controlling our township for decades, your Herculean effort was unparalleled and the results were impressive.
You made a huge impact on this election, the township and general awareness of our township issues. You've put pressure on our trustees to increase their lines of communication and we hope that they will continue to keep us updated on all important fiscal and zoning issues.
As we stated from the beginning, the Defend Concord position is to advocate for responsible zoning and responsible spending in our township. To continue to move forward but also maintain Concords' semi-rural environment. We believe strongly that the precious commercial land within the JEDD, west of SR 44, should be utilized for commercial and light industrial uses, which provide stable, income-generating revenue for our township. We will continue to push the trustees to repeal the residential and retail uses in that area and demand that they work diligently to find potential commercial and light industrial businesses that will make the JEDD their home.
We encourage you to continue attending zoning and trustee meetings. And to stay plugged into the Defend Concord's Facebook page and website for continual updated information.
Please email or message us with any concerns and we will do our best to find answers to your questions.
The Defend Concord Team
“Of course, questions and comments about public policy or governance are always appropriate and always welcome in the audience portion of the Trustee’s Meeting.”
– Trustee Chris Galloway
… REALLY?? …
More poor communication on behalf of Concord Township trustees.
Wasted time and potentially millions of wasted tax dollars in a lawsuit.
Why won't Chris Galloway respond to the News-Herald's attempts to reach him?
Why won't he comment?
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News Herald News Flash! Check out what news-herald.com has to say!
Why despite the "Repeal", this High Density Urban Plan has not gone away:
If re-elected, the current Trustees could reintroduce this at any time after November 7th
The Trustees refuse to answer whether or not they had pulled the RFP... Is it still out for bid? (watch the video)
The Trustees spent TENS OF THOUSANDS of YOUR TAX DOLLARS on plans for this development
- The Trustees spent $1,000,000 of YOUR TAX DOLLARS on the purchase of 7 acres of property for this High Density development. What happens to the 7 acres? What happens to the $1,000,000?
Over the last 11 years, the plan has drastically changed...
When the I-90/ Rt. 44/Auburn Rd/Crile Rd. plan began over a decade ago, it sought to maximize commercial development in Concord’s very limited commercially zoned property. Today, there is a drastically different “vision” being pursued by our Township Trustees: A high-density urban vision, which prioritizes residential over commercial development. Their plan calls for a large expansion of high-density housing in the heart of Concord’s commercially zoned property within the JEDD, creating a significant imbalance within our Community.
We, a group of concerned citizens, are organizing to re-focus our Trustees on the commercial development that was originally intended.
Why the Trustees say their “vision” is vital to the long-term success of Concord:
- The Trustees believe that Concord lacks a “sense of place” (identity)
- The Trustees believe that Concord needs destination attractions
- The Trustees believe that Concords' population is aging, and retirees have no place to downsize to. Millennials could backfill the population loss
We strongly disagree with their logic, and are frustrated with the Trustees’ absolute minimum outreach to the community for approval. They have collaborated with developers and paid consultants who have steered them to this plan. Do they have our community’s best interests in mind? Does our community believe in their vision? We firmly believe that if our community were better informed of the details of this plan, they would overwhelmingly reject it.
While the Trustees plan looks pretty in artist drawings, the following are some of the problems that it brings:
- High density housing – multi-family buildings (apartments) and townhouses. This is not semi-rural.
- An already frustrating traffic problem at I90/Rt 44/Auburn Rd/Crile Rd will become far worse.
- Loss of commercial tax potential by substituting residential property. Taxes may increase, to support this experiment.
- Large burden on road/fire departments, Sheriff & schools - could easily drive up taxes for all citizens.
- NEW Residential Income Tax for the re-zoned area.
- Tax revenue that should be invested back into Concord roads, fire dept., or reduced taxes, are now being quietly funneled into this project instead (i.e. $980,000 of our tax dollars spent on 7 acres)
- A brand new Community Center, Fitness Center, outdoor pool, etc. which could drive up our taxes. Who will pay for all these facilities, now and in the future?
Why isn’t our community better informed of the details of the plan the trustees completed in 2016? Given all of the technology tools that we have today to communicate, we should have seen the details on the Township’s Facebook page, or the townships newsletter (The Grapevine). Instead of artist concept drawings, they should be sharing the detailed 2016 Master Plan map (see attached maps at right) that reveals the reality of high density multi-family dwellings. The trustees don’t want to broadcast the fact that an income tax is part of their “vision” for Concord. They don’t have any solution in place for the traffic nightmare that will come with their plan, and they will not publicize the fact that they have, and will, spend your tax dollars to fund this “vision”. The last community-wide survey overwhelmingly rejected more high-density townhouses and multi-family buildings and nothing indicates the community has changed its mind… This "vision" is NOT Concord !!
By substituting our precious commercial land for residential uses and “city” amenities, Concord residents WILL PAY MORE IN TAXES.
The premise of the Trustees' plan is that as Concord ages, the community needs younger people who could be attracted to Concord via an “urban” area. There has never been a study to determine if Millennials would be attracted to semi-rural Concord, far from a thriving urban community. In fact, studies have shown that as Millennials grow older, they want the same environment that attracted their parents to the suburbs: a home, with a yard, to raise their families. The trustees say that condos in this area would cost $300,000 +… how does a millennial afford that, and further, pay a new 1.75% income tax?
The Trustees also state they want older Concord residents to be able to downsize and believe that these residents would be attracted to living in a large apartment building or above a store. They can’t live in any of the townhouses, because they are mandated to be two-story. Concord’s own research states that older Concord residents want to downsize into single-family attached and unattached housing units/condos. The entire premise of the residential portion of this “Master Plan” is faulty.
No economic study has been undertaken for this plan and yet, it has already gone out to bid. In May, the Concord Trustees entertained bids to hire a master developer for this area by September. This quickly moving master developer selection is a separate issue from the zoning text change and one that will have significant implications for our township. If the community hasn’t seen or approved the Trustees’ Master Plan, how can it already be going out to bid?
The newly proposed zoning text allows a huge latitude to design this area and some proposals could have significantly negative outcomes for Concord. Once this zoning text is approved (projected for August or September 2017), citizens will NEVER be able to have any input into the design of originally 175, but for now, 107 acres of prime retail/commercial land.
We ask our fellow citizens: Do you share this vision? We are a thriving, semi rural Township today. We already have a “sense of place” that our Trustees somehow do not recognize. There has been a steady increase in new residents here for a reason, and there is still plenty of residential growth potential outside of the commercially zoned JEDD area. Concord’s character should be preserved, and the potential of the limited commercial property at issue should not be replaced with a risky, high-density residential overlay.
Concord citizens need to be aware of this fast-paced, quietly moving plan and zoning text change. We need to raise our voices in opposition to the high-density residential portion of the plan, and support thoughtfully zoned commercial development.
We urge you to attend the public Trustee and Zoning Commission meetings to voice your opinion. See the "MEETINGS TO ATTEND" button at the top of this page. The Trustees are moving at a rapid pace to approve this plan. DEFEND CONCORD !
What you can do...
Send us your email address below so that we can send you important updates.
Spread the word !! Talk to your neighbors. Post or email this website link, share the above flyer or post it on facebook.
Attend public Zoning Commission and Trustee meetings and share your opinion. Click on the "meetings to attend" button at the upper right of this Page.