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No rezoning allowed after owners attempt to change their residential barn into a party space

Posted at 11:36 PM, Apr 10, 2018

Emotions were running high in Tuesday night's North Ridgeville Planning Commission meeting. 

Residents of North Ridgeville packed the room to tell the committee they didn't want the owners of a property in the 5000 block of Case Road to rezone their barn from a residential property to a commercial one.

"I just want you to think about our children's safety," said one resident.

The plans for the space that's less than 200 feet from several properties on Avalon Drive was to make it into an event space for weddings, birthday parties and corporate events.

"By having a center that people can host birthday parties or a company business dinner would be no different than if you’re neighbor were hosting a party," said Kim Lucas the co-owner of the property.

Lucas says her and her husband Joe own a home adjacent to the barn.

"My husband and I are both neighbors to this property, our longevity in the community speaks for itself to further show our commitment to preserving the country fell of the property our offer stands to place a deed restriction on the land," she said.

RELATED: North Ridgeville residents fight to keep barn from being turned into a party space

But the residents who opposed the rezoning far out numbered the Lucas family at the meeting. Dozens of people spoke during the public comment portion about their opposition.

"We just moved into the property in November, had we known that we would not have purchased the property," said Sara Novicky.

In end, two members of the planning commission voted for it, two voted against it. A tie according to their bylaws means a denial.

Chairman Jennifer Swallow voted against the rezoning.

"I really have concerns with rezoning one parcel that is totally surrounded by residential properties to me that is a what spot zoning is about and it wasn’t compelling to me that the property owners are willing to put deed restrictions on the property," she said.

The Lucas family and the committee members who voted 'yes' would not speak after the meeting.

There is still a possibility of rezoning, but the Lucas family would have to take their appeal to court.