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Zoning Board gives green light to Canton Rd. motel construction

By Leigh Ann Rutledge
FPS Reporter

The Carrollton village Zoning Board of Appeals granted a conditional use request Monday that clears the way for a hotel to be built on Canton Rd.

The conditional use request is for two residential lots located along Daringer Ave. that are contiguous with the property of the former Huebner Car Lot along Canton Rd. Scott and Valerie Cole own the lots. With RS-1 (residential single family) zoning, a property can be used for a parking lot and drive aisle once a conditional use is granted by the governing council.

Mark Belmont, an engineer with CESO Inc., a civil engineering, architectural and surveying company from Canton, hired to do site design, utility connections, grading, landscape, lighting and signage, parking lots and driveways, attended the meeting. He displayed plans for a Microtel Inn and Suites, noting the plans meet all zoning code requirements except for the two lots for which the conditional use was requested.

Belmont told council the company visited the site and took the neighborhood into consideration.  The plans show 77 feet of green space and include a screen of White Pine trees along the border of Daringer Ave.  These would be fairly dense, planted on 10-foot centers or less.

Belmont noted there would be only one entrance and exit coming off Canton Rd.  The plan also includes a detention pond if a high volume of water occurred. 

"With grass space and landscaping, we think this plan is a good addition to the neighborhood," stated Belmont.  "We feel our plans are similar to the SR 43 corridor."

Wilma Lambert, Zoning Board of Appeals chair, asked Belmont if the Microtel was a done deal. 

"It is contingent on getting the conditional use approval tonight," he answered.  "Remember a benefit of a conditional use means you are also approving the site plan, which means the property has to be developed as a hotel and plans must fit this site plan as laid out."  He noted the name of the hotel is not important but that if the conditional use is approved, the property must be designated as a hotel.

The plans presented to council list Fraid Guindo as the owner of the facility. Guindo is associated with a New York investment company called Drill Capital. Robert Moosally, director of construction management for Moosally Construction of Wexford, PA, said the company has been hired as a consultant for the project. The company has worked with oil and gas industry partners on several projects.

A portfolio of public and private clients on CESO’s website includes Chesapeake Exploration, Midstream Energy and EnerVest.

Jeri and Dave Smethers and Cam Lanka reside near the lots in question and attended the meeting. 

Their concerns revolve around water drainage issues, parking and traffic, property values and keeping the integrity of the neighborhood.

Belmont explained his job is to meet codes and his company cannot allow any additional water to drain from the property than before or for drainage to flow faster.  He did say the property will be graded to make it lower instead of importing dirt to level the ground. 

Property lighting was also discussed.  A photometric study has been done and shielded lighting has been designed forward facing so light does not spill over the property lines.  Council asked to see the study and Belmont will provide it.

Asked about a timetable, Belmont could only say groundbreaking would hopefully be in the spring. 

The Smethers and Lanka questioned Belmont about the possibility of landscaping such as white pines along 10th St.  "Landscaping is not a deal breaker," he said.  "Including additional landscaping can be a contingency of the conditional use."

Councilman Andy Gonda made the motion to approve the conditional use with the landscaping contingency and lighting contingency after council reviews the study.  The motion passed.

The Zoning Board of Appeals is comprised of all council members except for the president pro tempore (Mary Ann Miller).  Lambert was nominated to serve as chairwoman for 2013 and she appointed Luke Grimes (who did not attend the session) as vice chairman. 

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