Abbey residents upset about proposed development
Planning told it will cause more flooding
A resident presents some of his concerns about the proposed development during the June 21 planning commission meeting. Photo by JAIME ANTON
NORTH ROYALTON – The developer of the proposed Meadowview subdivision, which would add 37 homes to Abbey Road, has agreed to more revisions after several residents vent fears about water.
Close to 40 neighbors attended planning commission June 21 where the subdivision’s preliminary site plans were presented. The development is proposed on the west side of Abbey just to the south of Pinebrook and will be constructed by Builders and Developers Company. The property owner is Terrence Monolly.
Meadowview is circular with two entrances onto Abbey and a large central retention basin in the center. There is also a smaller basin planned to the southeast of the development, where a ditch flows under Abbey.
This appeared before planning earlier this year, but the developer came back last week with a few revisions: the smaller basin will draw water back from the ditch and away from Abbey into the larger basin; any water near Hunter Lane and Dogwood Trail to the north will be captured by four new catch basins to keep the stormwater drained and handle any runoff from the new development and that area will be pitched to flow back toward Meadowview.
After these revisions were presented, some homeowners still had concerns for an area they say is already prone to flooding.
One resident, who grew up on this street and whose family used to farm it, said the area is simply too soggy to build.
“All the property is underground springs. You can take a backhoe and build a hole back there, and it’s going to fill with water. That’s the reason this area floods so much and there’s so much damage,” he said. “I think throwing 37 more houses on that is going to make things worse.”
Another Abbey neighbor agreed.
“Is whatever you build going to be an adverse effect? What is our comeback to that?” she said. “North Royalton was about rural and nature, and all you’re trying to do is stick Parma in North Royalton … you’re raping the woods of the meadow.”
“Nobody wants to buy your house if you have water in your basement,” another neighbor said. “That water … it’s just got me down.”
One man said his neighbor gets 30 inches of sewage in the basement and that the city needs to do more than talk, it needs to take action.
Mayor Bob Stefanik, who sits on planning, told him the city has done several things to try to alleviate water. Nearly $1 million is being spent to construct the Cedar Estates Retention Basin near York and Sprague roads, that once complete, will hold and slowly release water into the channels that flow west toward Abbey. Gabion baskets, which prevent erosion, have been installed. A detention basin and Razick Lake were also both cleaned out a few years ago by the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District. And a collapsing culvert was replaced near Pinebrook.
“I don’t want anyone to think we sat on our ass for eight years. We’re mopping up a lot of crap from other people,” Stefanik told the man.
After an intercession, planning commission members and the mayor spoke with residents and the developer to try and address as much of the concerns as possible. The developer agreed to add more revisions to try and minimize stormwater impact further: a third basin behind three properties that lie south of the southern entrance that will also drain to the central basin and pitch these backyards to drain into that new basin; completely replace the original 1930s box culvert underneath Abbey at the northern entrance; perform some landscape buffering to the north and south for residents and the homeowner in between the entrance; and upsize the largest basin, especially, as much as possible to maximize water storage.
The developer is not able to sell one home until all these conditions have been met.
The mayor said the NEORSD, as part of its Stormwater Management Program, will also visit the area east of Abbey.
“Unfortunately the creek on the east side of Abbey has had little or no maintenance throughout the years. This is now under the jurisdiction of the NEORSD, and they will be doing an inspection this year,” he said.
Stefanik said, at the end of the day, the property owner has the right to build, but the city is doing everything it can to try to protect residents.
“I get it. Residents don’t want another development in their backyard, but they have a right to develop the property if they meet all the codes. They met all the codes, didn’t need any variance but we still went back to the developer to get additional stormwater enhancements to protect all the property owners in the area,” he said. “Any time you can slow and hold stormwater in a retention basin, it’s a win for the residents.”
Eric Nelson, land designer for the developer, said he grew up on Abbey and takes the concerns very seriously.
“We’re going to be their neighbor. We want to be a good neighbor and build a good development. I grew up on Abbey. I know these woods, used to play in them. And the owner cares about the neighborhoods he works in, the land, the properties, his reputation,” Nelson said. “We want people to tell others, ‘you want this developer to move into your neighborhood.’”
The developer will have to present final plans at an upcoming meeting.