Sycamore Rezoning Amendment Passes Council
Alex Hall, 04-10-2019

The site of the former Sycamore Golf Course, the rezoning of which passed council on Monday night, allowing a condominium development to proceed.
Alex Hall
A bipartisan group of Cuyahoga Falls City Council members voted on Monday to approve the rezoning of the site of the Sycamore Golf Course from E-1 Employment to R-3 Sub-Urban Density Residential, allowing a developer to move forward with residential construction in its place.

The seven yes votes came from Victor Pallotta (R-3), Michael Brillhart (D-5), Tim Gorbach (D-At large), Jerry James (D-7), Meika Penta (D-At large), Mary Ellen Pyke (R-2), and Jeff Iula (R-At large), while the four no votes were also from a bipartisan group that consisted of Council President Mary Nichols Rhodes (D-4), Russ Iona (R-8), Drew Reilly (D-1), and Adam Miller (R-6).

Reilly told the Falls Free Press he voted no because while he is “not opposed to development,” he thinks “it needs to be structured. I think we need to take the residents into consideration, I think they need to be a part of the planning process."

Those opposed to the rezoning of the site wanted to preserve the green space, though the previous zoning would not have prohibited business development should any have been planned. Nevertheless, the rezoning now ensures the green space will be replaced with condominium residences developed by Danny Karam, who told council in a public hearing that he believed his project would benefit the city more than a business development.

Gorbach said he voted in favor because he didn't believe a commercial development in lieu of the proposed residential development would “be our best-case scenario.” He said any commercial development would have “the same water related and traffic concerns” as Karam's development and “would not include saving current structures [or] creating a trail and trail head,” for instance. He added, “I would rather that the we control this narrative.”

With the rezoning proposal now passed, the current owner of the land is free to sell to Karam so that the condominium development can proceed.

Mike Searl contributed additional reporting for this story.

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