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					STAFF REPORT App. # 003-2003

Secluded Highlands Phases II & III Preliminary Plan & Variance Requests
Hinckley Township Owner/Developer: Engineer: Zoning: Acreage: # of Sublots: Open Space: Utilities: BNB Development Group Rolling & Hocevar Assoc., Inc. R-1 113.97 acres 34 Single-family residences 5.2 acres On-site water and septic systems

Zoning/ Abutting Uses (Area Map): North: East: R-1 R-1 Rising Valley Park Single-family detached homes along Oviatt Road (Summit Co.) Undeveloped wooded area Rocky River and undeveloped

South: West:

R-1 R-1

Location: This site is located in Hinckley Township on the west side of Oviatt Road southeast of Rising Valley Park. Site Conditions (Site Map): The site is rolling and wooded with an existing lake in the center of the subdivision. The East Branch of the Rocky River is located directly west of the site and traverses the southwest and northwest corners of the property. Access/Roads: All of the streets within the subdivision are public with a 60’ rightof-way. Access to the subdivision is provided by means of one access from Oviatt Road, which also has a 60’ right-ofway. Oviatt Road is itself a cul-de-sac since it dead-ends into Rising Valley Park for approximately six months of the year.
Summit County



History: The proposal for BNB Subdivision [currently Secluded Road Centerline Highlands] was originally submitted for Twp./Muni. Bndry. Preliminary Discussion on February 6, BELLU Proposed SiteR OAD S 1987. At that time the plan indicated 62 sublots within Hinckley Township and an additional 20 sublots within Richfield Township, Summit County. The length of the cul-de-sacs and the need for a second means of access were discussed.



A second Preliminary Discussion for this subdivision was held on April 10, 1992. The submitted plan indicated stubs to both the north (through Rising Valley Park) and south (connecting to Daleside Road), and a total of 61 sublots within Medina County. At that time the length of the cul-de-sacs and alternate access was discussed. The grade of Daleside Road, especially for wintertime access, was a concern. Staff recommended against a connection to Daleside Road due to the 20% grade of Daleside and the existence of flood prone soils to the north of Daleside. Staff also suggested that a second access point to Oviatt Road was possible and advised that no more than 50 lots be served by a single access. The Preliminary Plan for Secluded Highlands was approved on September 2, 1992 subject to staff review, local agency approvals and Summit County approval, in addition to the stub street to the south not being connected to Daleside Road. A review of the question of a stub street to the south for Secluded Highlands was reviewed by the Medina County Planning Commission at its meeting of October 5, 1994. The Planning Commission action supported no stub to the south. A Revised Preliminary Plan and a Final Plat for Secluded Highlands, Phase I (16 sublots) were approved by the Planning Commission on September 7, 1994. This Revised Preliminary plan provided 58 sublots and a stub to the north into Rising Valley Park. Health Dept. concerns with disturbed soils in the development with regard to the ability to use conventional septic systems, and a second means of access via the park were noted. This Preliminary Plan subsequently expired. On April 7, 1999, the Planning Commission approved a Revised Preliminary Plan, Phase II and Variance Request(s) for Secluded Highlands Subdivision. The Phase II Plan showed 38 sublots, for a total of 54 sublots, and no stub to the north. Due to the elimination of the stub to the north, variances were needed to exceed the length and number of lots on a cul-de-sac. The stub to the north was eliminated as a result of the adopted 1998 Master Plan for Rising Valley Park. The Park Plan indicates goals of maintaining the existing percentage of developed and undeveloped, maintaining flora and fauna, preserving the East Branch of the Rocky River corridor, and developing and maintaining relationship with adjoining property for conservation purposes. There is no plan to develop the portion of the park adjacent to Secluded Highlands Subdivision with any type of access that would be conducive for vehicles, emergency or otherwise. Agency Comments: Hinckley Twp. (1/24/03)  The indicated frontage for sublots #18, #33. #39, #47, #48, #52, and # 54In the case of these lots the frontage figures indicate less than 175 feet. [Revised Preliminary Plan (2/7/03) has corrected this deficiency.] Hinckley Township Zoning requires the width of each lot to be a minimum of 175 feet [both at the right-of-way line and at the building setback line], and 70’ on a cul-de-sac. o When checking figures, it was noted that based on the map scale, the lot lines do not appear to match the figures given. It appears that the entire map might need to be re-drawn, or at least all of the figures corrected.


Regarding the lot labeled as OPEN SPACE; the developer has previously spoken to the Trustees indicating that this lot would be deeded to Hinckley Township, or otherwise provide an easement which would guarantee that that the space would remain as Open Space. o This matter should be indicated in writing in some manner that is acceptable to the Trustees. Regarding sublots #22 and #43; It is noted that both lots contain areas which lie within the 100-year flood plain. The Township would request possible deed restrictions or other reasonable means of insuring that NO development would occur within the indicated bounds of the 100-year flood plain. o It can be noted that this request is based on the fact that Hinckley Township has recently been included in the list of entities that are required to comply with the various rules from the Ohio EPA re: The Clean Water Act, Phase II. The requirements direct the Township to discourage any development within the flood plains and riparian corridors. Regarding the request for variance from the cul-de-sac length and also the number of units, the Township DOES support the request as indicated.



Medina County Health Dept. (1/22/03) Site evaluations are necessary on the following lots to determine buildability: 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34-54. Lot lines have significantly moved in Phase III from 2/10/1999 plan. Landmarks or lot lines have significantly moved on lots 24 &28 from 2/10/1999 plan. S/Ls 29, 34, and 43 were previously marked as unbuilable for lack of significant suitable soil on the contour for a leaching system. S/Ls 39, 40, 53, 51, and 54 have soil disturbance, which may need to be addressed. (2/24/03) Restate comments 1 and 3 from the 1999. Planning Commission Staff Review. 1.) Per the Health District, this site has serious limitations to locating on-lot sewage and water wells. 3.) Sublots 25, 30, 31, 32, and 33 may be difficult to build on due to location of the East Ohio Gas easement. Staff understands that no structures, sewage systems etc. can be located within such easements. ODOT (2/18/03) This development is not requesting access to the state highway system. ODOT would have no involvement in access approval. M.C.S.E. (2/12/03) our present service area. The proposed Secluded Highlands Subdivision is outside

Tax Maps (1/29/03) Standard subdivision comments – Adjoining properties need acreage to 4 decimals etc. (2/20/03) subdivision. Same comments as 1/29/03. Need to show twp. lot line through the

Soil and Water Conservation District . Soil characteristics include severe susceptibility to flooding, seasonal high water table, slow permeability, potential for wetlands, severe slope, susceptible to frost action, and low strength. Wetland maps indicate presence of jurisdictional wetlands. Ground Water Resource maps show site is in zone C (well yields range from 3 to 10 gallons per minute) and E (well yields range from 3 to 10-15 gallons per minute). The site contains significant woodland resources. Consider preservation measures. Developer is encouraged to establish riparian zone setback distances along natural waterways. Where drainage courses bisect proposed lots, ensure that the amount and type of soils are supportive of on-site sewage systems and wells. Columbia Gas (2/25/03) Columbia Gas Transmission Corporation has no facilities located within the limits of the proposed construction. Staff Comments: The Revised Preliminary Plan that was approved in 1999 has expired. The applicant has submitted a new Revised Preliminary Plan in addition to requests for three variances. The variances are for cul-de sac length, number of lots on a cul-de-sac, and to exceed 50 lots with one means of access. The proposed subdivision is currently zoned R-1 which requires a minimum lot size of 2 acres and minimum lot frontage of 175’. A total of 54 sublots are proposed for the Medina County portion of the subdivision with an additional 20 sublots in Summit County. Undeveloped land exists to the north, west and south of this proposed subdivision, and single-family homes exist to the east. The obstacles to providing access in any direction are elaborated upon in the history section of this report. A number of the sublots proposed for Phases II and III are indicated by the Hinckley Township to be substandard [all the lots have been reconfigured to provide adequate frontage], and are indicated by the Medina County Health Department to have questionable ability to build due to a lack of sufficient suitable soils on the contour for a leaching system, and soil disturbance. Sublots 22 and 43 contain areas that are within the 100-Year Flood Plain. A note is to be placed on the Preliminary Plan and the Final Plat prohibiting building sites within the 100-year Flood Plain. The applicant has received a wetlands permit from the Corps of Engineers. One possible well location is indicated within this proposed subdivision. The well must be properly capped and plugged, and certification of such provided to the Department of Planning Services. A copy of the Covenants and Restrictions for the Homeowner’s Association indicating responsibility and maintenance for all common areas and facilities has been submitted to the Department of Planning Services for transmittal to the Prosecutor’s Office. An Open Space Block and Conservation Easements are indicated on the Preliminary Plan. The disposition of Block “A” and the Conservation Easements must be determined prior to Final Plat approval.

This Revised Preliminary Plan and accompanying variances were received subsequent to the adoption of the new Subdivision Regulations and therefore will come under the new regulations. As such, the variances requested are as follows:  Section 604 B.9. – Cul-de-sacs shall not serve in excess of 20 dwelling units, o Since Dunheath Drive is not a through street, and White Horse Trail and Northern Light Circle do not connect, the number of sublots on a cul-de-sac would be 27 on Dunheath Drive/White Horse Trail and 27 on Dunheath Drive/Northern Light Circle, an excess of 7 sublots each.  Section 604 B.9. – Cul-de-sacs shall not have a length in excess of 2500 feet. The length of the cul-de-sac street is measured along the centerline of the proposed cul-de-sac street from the centerline of the nearest existing or proposed intersecting through street to the center of the culde-sac turn around. o The applicant used the point where Dunheath Drive intersects with White Horse Trail as the starting point for measuring the length of the cul-de-sac. However, Dunheath is not a through street at this location, and technically Oviatt Road is not a through street because it is closed at the Park for as much as six months of the year. o If Oviatt Road is the intersecting through street, the variance requests should be for exceeding the maximum cul-de-sac length by approximately 1400’ on Northern Light Circle/Dunheath Drive and 1850’ on White Horse Trail/Dunheath Drive. If S.R. 303 is the intersecting through street, the cul-de-sac length is measured all the way back to S.R. 303 and all the homes along Oviatt Road are included in the number of dwelling units on a cul-de-sac. Section 604 C.3. – No street may serve more than 50 residential sublots from a single access point. o The proposed plan indicates 54 sublots from the intersection of Oviatt Road and Dunheath Drive.


Section 203A.2. of the Subdivision Regulations states that to grant a variance, the Planning Commission must find, “…that an unnecessary hardship may result from the strict application of the Subdivision Regulations due to exceptional topographical or other physical conditions.” Such relief from the regulations may be granted provided it is “…without detriment to the public interest and without impairing the intent and purpose of these regulations or the desirable development of the neighborhood and community.” Clearly, there are significant topographical and other physical conditions on and surrounding this site. These conditions have limited the applicant’s ability to provide additional means of access to the subdivision and have necessitated the need to request these variances. Phase I of Secluded Highlands Subdivision is built and residences exist on most of the 16 approved sublots The Health Dept has indicated that site evaluations are necessary to determine if all the proposed sublots for Phases II and III can be built upon. These evaluations could result in unbuildable sublots resulting in the elimination or reconfiguring of the sublots as

shown on the Preliminary Plan. The result may be that the number of sublots within the subdivision is reduced and the need for the variance as to number of lots served by a single means of access will be unnecessary. If the variance to permit 54 sublots off a single access point is granted, it should be with a clear understanding that 54 sublots is a maximum and site conditions may limit the subdivision to fewer than 54 sublots. MCDPS Recommendation: 1. Variance to Section 604 B.9. – Cul-de-sacs shall not serve in excess of 20 units. There are 54 sublots proposed from the intersection of Dunheath Drive and Oviatt Road requiring a variance to exceed 20 sublots by 34. The Department of Planning services recommends approval of this variance. 2. Variance to Section 604 B.9. – Cul-de-sacs shall not have a length in excess of 2500 feet. From the intersection of Dunheath Drive and Oviatt, the culde-sacs are approximately 4800’ and 4000’ in length. The Department of Planning Services recommends approval of this variance. 3. Variance to Section 604 C.3. – No street may serve more than 50 residential sublots from a single access point. The subdivision proposes 54 sublots from a single access point. The Department of Planning Services recommends approval of this variance. As stated previously, all three variances are necessitated by the fact that this subdivision is isolated. A park to the north, steep topography to the south and the East Branch of the Rocky River to the west make additional access undesirable. Also, there are existing homes to the east along Oviatt Road that preclude a second means of access to Oviatt Road. The Department of Planning Services recommends that the Medina County Planning Commission APPROVE WITH MODIFICATIONS the Preliminary Plan for Secluded Highlands Phases II and III with the following findings and conditions resolved prior to Final Plat submittal: 1. The Preliminary Plan is in compliance with Township Zoning. 2. Site evaluations are needed to determine buildability. Sublots 29, 34 and 43 were previously determined to be unbuildable. Compliance with the Health Department requirements may require the redrawing of this plan and/or the elimination of sublots. 3. A note is to be placed on the Preliminary Plan and the Final Plat prohibiting building sites within the 100-year flood plain. 4. Documentation from ODNR that the wells have been properly capped and abandoned must be submitted. 5. Disposition of the Open Space Block must be determined. The Township Trustees indicated that there was discussion of deeding the open space to the township.

MCPC Approval Modifications:    delete Sublots 41-44 recreate this land into a Block “B” deed Block “A” to the Hinckley Township Trustees.

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