Brookside development raises concerns

Tayler Thompson

Herald Staff Writer

Several citizens and council members shared their thoughts and concerns about the plans to develop high-density housing within the city of Norton.

Council members introduced several pieces of legislation Monday evening during a virtual committee of the whole meeting regarding the planning and development of housing where the Brookside Country Club golf course is currently located. Councilman Jack Gainer stated, “I feel this project will provide a lot of needed housing, it’s going to create employment for the area and increase tax bases such as property, income and school taxes.” He also went on to say he hopes the schools will be able to eliminate some of the open-enrolled students as the number of students in Norton will be increasing as families move in. He also said it provides future possibilities for the area and will be at little cost to the city and as new businesses such as Amazon develop in the area, employees will need local housing.

Councilwoman-at-Large Charlotte Whipkey stated she believes less is more and they could make just as much money with fewer homes, stating, “Driving down through the city blocks in Akron or even Barberton and looking how close the homes are there, why would we even want to entertain having this in front of us?” She went on to say, “This won’t even look like Norton. I’m not the only one that feels this way- there’s a lot of people.” She stated she will vote against anything regarding the development moving forward. She also explained when the zoning was changed previously, it was meant to become an area for senior housing.

Councilman Dan Karant said he has received over 60 emails regarding the development, both against and in favor of it. He also stated he doesn’t know how much it will actually affect the surrounding area when it comes to traffic flow but he supports the project and believes it will increase property value in the area. Councilman Paul Tousley asked how the city would benefit from the development, stating it will be quite some time before the city sees any financial gain and by that time, the roads will need to be re-done. Gainer stated, “I can’t see how I could not be in favor of improving the infrastructure of the city at the developer’s cost.” Vice President Scott Pelot stated if businesses are going to move into the city, they are going to need people to support them.

The first of three readings for the legislation regarding the development will take place during the next city council meeting Monday, Oct. 26 as well as other legislation regarding bonds and updating council chambers to make changes related to COVID-19.

6 Comments

  1. John C. on November 24, 2020 at 7:04 am

    I’m a republican and feeling more and more sorry for wildlife. What’s left gets chased by commando goobers with charcoal faces and crossbows.



  2. Joe Kazy on October 25, 2020 at 4:23 pm

    Jeffrey Jenkins, the four legislations are,
    1. The project itself. By passing this the deal will be final. (This will pass 5-2).
    2 and 3 are for expanding the water and sewer lines. (This will pass 7-0 or 6-1)
    3. The final is for the city to assume ownership of Golf Course Drive. (This will pass 7-0 or 6-1)
    Of course everything in () is just my opinion and assuming that all members of council actually attend the meetings.

    Teresa Yates, I truly feel bad for everyone in the Nash Hts because the sewers were forced on them with no say from the residents. I personally feel the sewers was part of the plans to develop the golf course. Of course not one elected official will say that. But just look at what’s going on now.
    In regards to the Fire Levy, it’s a very bad time to anyone asking for more money. A lot of people are being hit hard financially over COVID-19. Unfortunately the current levy is set to expire in 2021, so they have no choice putting it in the ballot at this time. The fire department is fully funded by the levy. Some “laws” have changed and some equipment needs to be added and or replaced. The Chef of Fire does a really good job with budgeting and getting grants. I don’t know what fryer you received, but I personally don’t think that the new development has much to do with it.



  3. ew on October 23, 2020 at 6:55 am

    scrap the houses and build another bad winery with bad pizza



  4. dollar signs on October 23, 2020 at 6:04 am

    turn your city into an instant shi*hole for $$



  5. Teresa Yates on October 22, 2020 at 5:07 am

    I have a huge bill for a sewer that was obviously shoved my throat for this project to proceed ( I live right by this project ). Last week I received a flyer from Fire and Safety Services Levy that specifically states they need to tax us more to pay for the 400 plus houses…..so keep saying no cost to the city as truth since they just shove it up property owners asses to pay for it.



  6. Jeffrey Jenkins on October 21, 2020 at 2:03 pm

    `A real reporter would mention at least what each piece of the legislation was, instead a moron wrote this.



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