AUSTINTOWN Trustees reject extension of Tulane

Trustees also limited the number of rental units in the planned development.
AUSTINTOWN -- A proposal to extend Tulane Avenue was rejected by the township trustees after a three-hour public hearing Monday night.
The zoning commission had recommended extending the road into the proposed Heron's Landing development, which is slated to be constructed along New Road between Cider Mill Crossing and Eastwind Place. If it is not extended, Tulane Avenue would dead-end on the east side of the proposed 100-acre development.
During Monday's hearing about 15 residents voiced opposition to the extension plan, which they felt would create too much traffic along Tulane Ave.
"If you open that road up ... it's going to be crazy," said Tulane Avenue resident Connie Sinchek.
Charles Jacobs, also of Tulane Avenue, added that he moved to Austintown from Youngstown in an attempt to escape the kind of traffic that would be created by extending the road.
"We lost two dogs on the street we lived on; I don't want to lose a kid," Jacobs said.
Reason for proposal: By extending Tulane Road the zoning commission had hoped to give emergency vehicles another way to reach the development. Plans for the development call for the construction of one access road, an 80-foot-wide boulevard connected to New Road.
Trustees also approved plans for the development without the extension of Tulane Avenue. Trustee Bo Pritchard said that because so many local residents oppose extending the road, "There is no way I can endorse having this development dump through Tulane."
His statement drew applause from the 30 local residents in the crowd.
"The board is sensitive to how the residents feel," Trustee Jeffrey Groat said. "We realize what an emotional issue this could be because it could change the whole identity of Tulane."
Rental properties: The zoning commission also recommended that the trustees take steps to ensure that most of the units in the development are owner-occupied. At Monday's hearing some local residents said they felt that renters would allow the properties in the development to fall into disrepair.
"As soon as you start getting rental properties in, people don't care," Ridgeview Avenue resident Jeff Enterline said.
Trustees approved a motion stating that only 10 percent of the units in the planned unit development section of Heron's Landing can be occupied by renters.
The PUD section contains a total of 138 housing units. Plans for the development call for the construction of a total of 145 single-family homes, 28 detached condominiums, and an additional 100 condominiums built in clusters of two or three.
Plans for the development were devised by Mill Creek Companies. Richard Salata, president of Mill Creek Companies, said he expects the entire development to be up within seven years.

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