North Royalton voters will have an opportunity to vote on the question of rezoning several parcels from R1A Residential zoning to SCD Senior Center District zoning. The property in question is located on the north border of North Royalton, on Sprague Road, just west of State Road.
Council recently approved the measure to be placed on the May 8 ballot, after a public meeting in front of the city’s Planning Commission. This process is done in accordance with the city’s charter, which states that any change in zoning classification for a parcel that would allow for multi-family dwellings and/or increases the density that is permitted on that parcel in any residential district shall be submitted to the voters and requires a simple majority in order to take place.
“Our City Master Plan calls for more housing options for seniors in our community so that they can remain close to their families in their golden years. If the zoning change is approved, OMNI would be making a significant investment in our community of over $25 million, which would create new jobs, better housing options for our seniors and an improvement to that overall part of the city. Ultimately, I respect whatever voters decide come May about this issue,” said Ward 3 Councilman, Dan Langshaw.
Under the SCD zoning, the land and buildings would be utilized for those 55 or older. The permitted uses would include the following, according to North Royalton ordinances:
“ A. Dwelling facilities, such as apartments, row houses and other attached multifamily or detached dwellings;
B. Elderly Care health facilities primarily for the use of the occupants;
C. Dining facilities primarily for occupants and/or employees;
D. Recreational facilities primarily for occupants; and
E. Administrative offices.
(2) Accessory uses are as follows:
A. Service and maintenance buildings;
B. Off-street parking and garages as regulated in this chapter; and
C. Related facilities and services.”
The zoning change is being requested by Beachwood-based developer OMNI, L.L.C. and owner of the two parcels, the Gaitanaros family, who owns Athenian Village, a senior development on West 130 Street. The two parcels, one which is located on Ridgedale Drive and one which is located on Sprague Road, total 26.7 acres. The request states that the property will be “developed for Senior Residences consisting of Independent Living, Assisted Living, Villas and Memory Care.” The proposal notes that the access to the development will be from Sprague Road and that the rear yard of the site will be provided with a substantial buffer to surrounding single-family houses. Community Development Director Tom Jordan said that “we are currently working on a development agreement, where we nail down the number of units and things like that.” He said that if the rezoning passes, they expect construction to begin this summer on the apartments and memory care unit, then the villas will be phased in over time. OMNI would first have to go back to the Planning Commission to get final approval on the project.
“The people spoke through the master plan amendment and told us that they want more senior citizen-type developments,” said Ward 6 Councilman Dan Kasaris. “The fact of the matter is that we baby boomers are getting older and we do have a need in North Royalton for it, so I supported putting this issue on the ballot and let the residents decide on the zoning change. We have a definite need because of our demographics. Not every senior can live in their home. Some can and some can’t. We need to have more options for senior living.” Both Mayor Bob Stefanik and North Royalton City Council President Larry Antoskiewicz feel that this project will move forward, saying that they felt that the proposed location would be beneficial for that type of development.
“Our master plan calls to look at increased senior living. Really it boils down to the kinds of things the deer issue went through a few years ago. The residents need to evaluate and see if this is the way we want our community wants to go,” said Ward 4 Councilman Paul Marnecheck. “ I think this is an interesting option and I hope that people take the time to study it and learn it and realize…we’re all getting older! I look at what is being done at the corner of Rt. 82 and York with the senior living. That allows people who love Royalton but realize they have a little too much house, to stay in North Royalton and allow a new family to create some new memories in a home.”

Contributing Writer