By Jeff Gallatin
Municipal officials are taking steps down the road toward development of properties near the North Olmsted and North Ridgeville border with an expected rezoning of the land.
City Council was scheduled to hear legislation last night that would rezone four parcels of land on the north side of the road owned by businessman Dale Schmidt near the border and Ohio Turnpike exit area from “limited industry-industrial park” to “motorist service district.” The switch would allow placement of businesses such as lodgings, restaurants, sports facilities and convention sites, vehicle sales and rentals, bus stations and other service-related businesses. Council’s Building, Zoning and Development Committee unanimously recommended the rezoning at its March 11 meeting.
Paul Schumann, chairman of the BZA committee, sees the proposed zoning change as a good move.
“Those are all types of businesses which you would find near big exits and roadways like the turnpike,” Schumann said. “When you look at what we have compared to the North Ridgeville side of that area we’re a little behind them right now. This rezoning will help us catch up to them by letting in these type of businesses, which like to locate in these type of areas.”
North Olmsted planning and development Director Kim Wenger noted there hasn’t been much interest on the part of businesses and developers in using the potential industrial park applications. She said Schmidt is laying the groundwork for future development by seeking the rezoning.
“I know there’s not anything specific lined up for going there right now, but I’ll bet there will be people knocking on his (Schmidt’s) door not a real long time after this rezoning goes through,” Schumann said. “He has good ideas and experience in the area. This area is ideal for the businesses you can put in the motorists service area.”
Schmidt, who owns the North Olmsted Soccer Sportsplex across Lorain Road on the south side of the road across from the parcels that would be rezoned, said the change would make the area more uniform in its zoning.
“It would be consistent with the area and other things going on in the area,” he said. “You could bring in businesses which would fit in others located near that area.”
Schmidt’s Sportsplex is the only other property in North Olmsted zoned for motorist service district.
Wenger said the rezoning also would be consistent with the current North Olmsted master plan as well as what she anticipates it looking like after it is updated within the next year.