The Planning Commission at its session Monday set a public hearing for 7 p.m. February 25 on a proposal to rezone three acres in the Briarthorn Professional Park on the north side of Akron Road.
That acreage, now zoned residential, is being proposed for commercial zoning by SCST LLC, owner of the property. According to the application for the rezoning, "the property owner believes maintaining the current restrictions under conditional use are unreasonable and inconsistent with current practice throughout Wadsworth on its major traffic corridors." The property is on Akron Road, a major traffic artery for the city.
Two buildings have been built and are occupied by a daycare center and a medical office in the park. Owners of those two businesses submitted letters to Planning Director Jeff Kaiser indicating they are in favor of the rezoning. The applicant indicated the third building is ready to be constructed, but cannot begin until there is an identified use for the building. Also, the applicant noted efforts have been unsuccessful in attracting a medical use for the building, but multiple inquiries have been received from professional office users who have been ready to locate their business in the third building.
The city's planning department believes the rezoning proposal "has merit" because it will "open the site to other, non-medical office uses, which might help to speed up the build-out of this site." The department report indicated changing the zoning might even lessen the amount of traffic compared to having another medical building on that site.
Terry Hanson, speaking for SCST LLC, said the buildings are owner-occupied condominiums. He noted medical businesses schedule every 15 minutes and has traffic coming and going throughout the day. A business office, he acknowledged, may have one-third the traffic of a medical office.
The application indicated the building to be constructed on the site, if it is rezoned, will be approximately 7,000 square feet. It is also expected to be of a similar design as the two buildings, which are already in the park.
If the commission recommends the rezoning to the City Council, the council will then discuss the issue, hold a public hearing and make the final decision as to whether the acreage should be rezoned.
Kaiser informed the commission he expects to recommend at least four zoning text amendments this year. The amendments will concern parking regulations, development of the area at State Route 57 and College Street, planned unit developments and outdoor storage for businesses.