Herald Staff Writer
The housing development going into the former Barberton Brookside Country Club isn’t just single-family homes after all, Norton City Council heard May 17.
At the committee work session that night, council received a resolution to approve the Planning Commission’s recommendation to accept a 174-apartment development to go in on the north end of the ex-golf course. The units, which are expected to rent for between $1,600 and $1,800 per month, will all be handicap accessible and have a built in 1 1/2-car garage. The complex is planned by Redwood, which has similar developments throughout the region, and will cater to older residents.
“Aren’t these the same people who brought this to us originally?” Councilwoman Charlotte Whipkey asked.
As the golf course property sold, council rezoned it to multi-use to make way for senior living, floated by Redwood. That development, expected to be about twice the size of the one in front of council now, fell through and the property went to another developer, now building the housing allotment. Whipkey has objected to his allotment from the beginning and resents Redwood for putting Norton in that position.
“I’m fine with apartments,” Whipkey said. “If it were anybody else doing them, I probably wouldn’t be saying anything.”
“Plans change in business,” Councilman Dan Karant said.
Councilman Jack Gainer was effusive in his praise of the plan but Councilman Scott Pelot wasn’t.
“We passed an ordinance requiring all future developments to have sidewalks and street lights,” Pelot said.
The planned complex has neither.
Council will consider an ordinance applying for a new round of grant funding from the Akron Metropolitan Area Transit Study. Area projects came in under budget freeing more money. Part of it will resurface Norton Avenue from the city limit to Cleveland Massillon Road. The rest will go to the Eastern Road project and Cleveland Massillon Road going north.
More Eastern Road money will, the city hopes, come from two grant applications in front of council to the Ohio Public Works Commission. One is a joint venture with Summit County and the other with New Franklin.
Council is considering an ordinance to reduce the space required between a structure and an oil well from 300 feet to 100 feet, matching state law. The change would allow a Clark Mill Road property owner to build a structure near Emerald Lake.
An ordinance setting the sewer benefit charge for the Cider Ridge development on Clark Mill Road at $950 was sent for readings.
Wiring is the only thing holding up council’s return to in-person meetings, council heard. The IT contractor is still setting up the microphones and camera, meaning a June 7 return may not happen but June will be the time.
“Six neighboring communities are already in-person,” council President Scott McGlone said. “Three are still meeting in Zoom.”
“It’s time to get back to in-person meetings,” Councilman Joseph Kernan said.
McGlone added that the state legislature was poised to pull the authorization for government bodies to meet virtually on June 30.
Council is also considering action against Nick’s Landscaping on Wadsworth Road. The company had deposited debris in Wolf Creek, aggravating the area’s flooding problems. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had issued notices over the last several years but Whipkey said there’s been no progress.
“It’s been three years now since Nick had dumped stuff in the creek and nothing has been done,” Whipkey said.
“If we start fining him he’ll get at it,” Pelot said.
Council will also start looking at options for the city’s trash service, with the current contract expiring at the end of June.