Tri-Village News

Propheter family asks for rezoning to facilitate sale


Grandview Heights City Council voted Nov. 5 to remove from the table an ordinance to rezone the Style-Line property at 901 W. Third Ave. from Light Industrial District (M-1) to Grandview Commerce Mixed Use District (GCMXD).

Council was not ready or willing to consider the rezoning that night and the ordinance has been assigned to the planning and administration committee for its review.

The Propheter family, which owns the property, requested that council re-introduce and approve the legislation to give them more flexibility to redevelop or sell the site.

Council had tabled the ordinance in June because a tentative plan to sell the property to a developer who would have created a mixed-use project on the land fell through.

With a portion of Third Avenue and Edgehill Road closed for an extended time for infrastructure work relating to the Grandview Yard project, the Style-Line property is no longer viable "and the family is looking for other options," said attorney Bill Propheter Jr., who is representing his parents, Bill and Laura Propheter.

The GCMXD zoning classification was created to provide more flexibility and allow additional uses, including residential, for the district that includes the Yard project area.

His family wants council to rezone the Style-Line property into the GCMXD so that they would also have the flexibility to sell the property for residential as well as commercial and retail use, Propheter said.

"We ask you to treat us the same way you treat Nationwide (Realty Investors, the developer of the Yard), he said.

"We are in the TIF district (created for the Yard), so we want to be treated the same," Propheter said.

The road closures and their impact on the property "is a perfect storm -- Hurricane Sandy -- for us," he said.

Potential buyers who would redevelop the property "are reluctant to come here" because of the zoning issue, Propheter said.

Bill Propheter Sr. said his family has the chance to sell the property yet this year, but needs the rezoning to be approved by Thanksgiving.

"We need your help," he said.

Mayor Ray DeGraw expressed concern about the potential impact of another residential development on the Grandview Heights City School District.

The development agreement with Nationwide includes provisions for payments the developer will pay to compensate the school district for the impact that apartment units it is building in the Yard will have, especially the potential of adding students to the district, he said.

If a similar agreement was reached regarding the Propheter property, money going to the school district would cut into the funds going into the TIF district created for the Yard area.

The Propheter property is included in the TIF district.

While a landowner has a right to ask for a rezoning, in this case, a new application should be presented for review by the Planning Commission before council would consider it, Councilwoman P'Elizabeth Koelker said.

Koelker cast the only vote against removing the legislation from the table. She said was "about process" and her belief that the rezoning request should be presented as a new application.

If a new application was needed, there is no way the matter could be resolved by Thanksgiving, City Attorney Joelle Kouzam said.

A new application would accurately reflect what the Propheter property might become, she said.

Bill Propheter Jr. agreed to meet with Khouzam and Director of Administration/Economic Development Patrik Bowman to further discuss issues relating to the family's request including whether a new application and compensation agreement for the schools is needed.