A majority of Marble Cliff Village Council members have indicated they are opposed to a developer's proposal to build two four-story apartment buildings on the former Custom Coach property at 1400 Dublin Road.

A majority of Marble Cliff Village Council members have indicated they are opposed to a developer's proposal to build two four-story apartment buildings on the former Custom Coach property at 1400 Dublin Road.

Council held a town-hall meeting on the issue as part of its meeting Monday, July 16, and virtually all of the residents who spoke also voiced concern about the proposed development.

Preferred Living, a central Ohio residential property developer, would like to purchase the property and construct two buildings with high-end, studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments.

The development would have either 244 or 216 units. The larger number of units would be built if the village agreed to sell the one acre of land it owns toward the rear of the site.

Don Rife, who owns Rife's Autobody at 2300 Cardigan Ave., expressed concern that the four-story apartment buildings would mean his business would not be visible from the roadway.

Rife also said he was concerned about the increased traffic the apartments would bring.

Even assuming that only one person would live in each apartment, the development would increase Marble Cliff's population by up to 50 percent, Cardigan Avenue resident Dale Johnson said.

"It would impact the character of the village," he said.

Another Cardigan Avenue resident, Marilyn Worwick, expressed concern that the development would result in Cardigan being opened down to Dublin Road.

Opening Cardigan to Dublin Road is not something the village would consider, Mayor Kent Studebaker said.

Grandview Heights school board member Katie Clifford said the district is not in favor of the development.

While it would bring an estimated $330,000 in annual tax revenue to the district, it also would mean the schools would have to provide transportation for students who live in the apartments and attend Stevenson Elementary School, Clifford said.

That is because the apartments would be at least two miles from the school, and state law requires a district to provide transportation for students who live at least that far from their school.

Since it would have to provide transportation for Stevenson students, under state law, the district also would have to provide transportation to any student who lives in the district and attends a community or non-public school that is at least two miles from their home, Clifford said.

The cost of purchasing and maintaining buses, paying bus drivers and other transportation expenses would offset, at least to some extent, the increase in tax revenue, she said.

Council members David Roark, Jack Kukura, Robert Sterneker and Linda Siefkas reiterated their general opposition to the development.

"I don't think (we) have to be in a hurry to give up our last piece of commercial property," Roark said.

The NiSource property on Dublin Road sat mostly vacant for several years before new tenants were found for its office space, Siefkas said.

The same thing likely would happen with the Custom Coach property, she said.

Council member Kendy Troiano said she is now leaning against the development after hearing Clifford's comments on the school district's concerns.

Council member Matt Cincione, who previously had indicated he is in favor of allowing the apartment development, was absent from the meeting.

Council agreed it would not be fair to hold a formal vote on the issue without Cincione being present and able to express his views.

Preferred Living Vice President Nick King said his company remains interested in developing the Custom Coach site, but said the firm is a residential development company, not office or commercial.

He offered to provide any information that council would find helpful.