By Jeff Gallatin
City officials are preparing legislation that places a six-month development moratorium on undeveloped areas while they attempt to finalize related legislation on attached housing.
Council and administration members settled on the six-month time frame after verbally agreeing to the moratorium as a way to allow a proposed rezoning of Cahoon Road property to remain on the November ballot. Council had placed that proposal on the ballot after several weeks of discussion during the spring to outline a proposal Andrew Brickman had for placing eco-friendly luxury apartments on the Cahoon Road property.
City Council President Paul Koomar said Friday officials are continuing their work at better defining the attached housing standards in the city.
“Steve Lee (chairman of City Council’s planning and zoning committee) has met with the building commissioner about the attached housing, and they’re sending legislation to the (Bay Village) Planning Commission to help better define it,” Koomar said.
Koomar said council members are aware attached housing in the community has been an issue for several years.
“They’re putting together some good ideas that will go to the Planning Commission, and I’m sure we’ll have some thoughts on this as well with City Council,” he said.
Koomar said the legislation is also being designed to have the moratorium exclude already-developed areas where businesses are in place.
“We’re just looking to provide a better definition for the public on the housing issue,” he said.
Council Vice President Mike Young also has had council look at and approve other guidelines as to when the city could consider tax abatement as an incentive. During the discussion on the rezoning issue, several citizens and council members expressed reservations about offering tax abatements for any development in the Cahoon Creek area. Brickman had indicated he would seek tax abatements or something similar if he were to pursue any development in the area.
Bay Village law Director Gary Ebert said the proposed legislation does exclude areas where the city already has businesses and related development.
“We’re looking at just having it (the moratorium) in place where we need the attached housing dealt with,” he said. “If there was something which could be done in an area which already has business, then this would allow any needed development or work.”
Both officials said they anticipated the city having the attached housing better defined before the six months are up.
Ebert said the proposal is being set up so that council could extend the moratorium if it felt the need to, but noted officials would like to avoid that and have the issue settled.
“I think we’ve got a good start on taking care of it,” Koomar said. “We thought that six months was a good time frame for the moratorium because we’ve had similar lengths of time in other legislation, but we would hope to have this dealt with before the six months are up.”
Koomar said getting the attached housing issue dealt with will also help the city deal with however the Cahoon rezoning vote turns out. To go into effect, voters in both Ward 2 where the property is located, as well as city voters overall, must approve it.
Both officials expected the legislation to be ready for next Monday’s City Council meeting.