City planners OK private residences in industrial zones
by DAVID DAVIS, Managing Editor
Jun 26, 2013 | 1143 views | 0 0 comments | 34 34 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A proposed change in the Cleveland zoning regulations would allow for the presence of private residences in the industrial area around the old Whirlpool manufacturing complex though Cleveland Municipal Planning Commission members Tuesday felt the change was not enough.

Planning commissioners voted 9-0 during a special meeting to recommend a change in zoning regulations that would allow residential uses in the area south of Inman Street, west of Wildwood Avenue/Dalton Pike, north of APD 40 and east of South Ocoee Street/Blue Springs Road.

Commissioner Larry Presswood voted in favor of the amendment though he felt the entire area should be rezoned for residential purposes.

Planning staff recommended the change after receiving an inquiry from Melody Smith of Keller-Williams, the listing agent for property at 470 2nd St. S.E.

According to staff reports, the house is in an area zoned Heavy Industrial. Residential use is not permitted in the heavy industrial zone, a protection to both industrial and residential uses. Because of the zoning nonconformity, the potential buyer’s lender is not extending a loan on the property because it could not be rebuilt if it were destroyed.

The amendment means that the owner of an industrially zoned one- or two-family dwelling with recent and substantial upgrades or repairs can receive a written approval to rebuild if the structure is damaged beyond 50 percent of its appraised value. In order to obtain authorization from the planning commission, it would be the responsibility of the owner to make the request in writing and to supply all necessary documentation of recent upgrades and repairs.

Current regulations require that a nonconforming use, if destroyed beyond 50 percent of the appraised value, cannot be rebuilt. There are a considerable number of existing residential homes in Industrial zoning in the areas surrounding the old Whirlpool plant.

The property is in an intact residential block facing the Cleveland Public Works Department and The Caring Place social services agency.

According to the staff report, there are areas of single-family residential development zoned for industrial use. That occurred when Cleveland had a pyramid zoning structure which allowed residential development in industrial zones. However, that is no longer the case so these homes have become nonconforming uses.

The report stated the need for redevelopment within the area, including new and rehabilitated housing.

Industrially zoned residential sites that have long been in residential use, especially those adjacent to railroad, arterial streets, or truck routes, can be important areas for reinvestment in housing that would support area-wide redevelopment and assist current residents in remaining as well as inviting new residents.

The area contains about 300 residences where a flier was distributed in June 2012 warning homeowners their are targeted for demolition and redevelopment.

Thomas said a year ago that some families have lived and owned homes in the neighborhoods for several generations and new families are moving in and establishing their own traditions.

“There are new people coming in there too and doing the same thing, I’ve talked to them,” Thomas said in 2012. “They buy a house, fix it up and live there. That’s exactly what you would hope would happen in any neighborhood.”

Planning commissioners voted 9-0 to approve the following agenda items during a regular meeting held prior to the special meeting:

- A request by Duggan Development Co. for final approval of a four-lot townhome development on lots 40 and another on lot 41 of Stonebriar subdivision. The property is located on Stonebriar Drive.

- A request by D & S Custom Homes for final approval of an eight-lot townhome development on lots numbered 4 through 11 of Sharon Townhomes located on Sharon Drive, Pryor Road and Ramsey Street.

- A request by Dennis Epperson for final approval of a 10-lot development, Phase II of Silver Springs subdivision. The property is located on Silver Springs Trail.

- A Request by Mike R. Lee for final approval of a four-lot townhome development on lot 9 of Brookstone Townhomes. The property is located on Chelsa Drive.

- A request by Greg Calfee Builders for preliminary approval of a four-lot townhome development on lot 39 of Stonebriar located on Stonebriar Drive and Bell Tower Lane.