Residents who spoke Feb. 19 during a Marble Cliff Village Council meeting about a proposal to add 67 apartments had one word for village leaders: nope.
The meeting was residents' first chance to comment publicly since F2 Cos. and Elford Development presented a concept plan last month to redevelop the property at 2015 W. Fifth Ave.
Developers have heard "a lot of great comments and questions," including at a Feb. 15 open house, and will be "getting back to the drawing board" to consider whether changes to the plan are feasible, said Ted Foster, partner at F2.
The concept plan calls for the demolition of the Tudor-style building at the site, built as a residence in 1908 by noted architect Frank Packard.
The developers have proposed a 67-unit, three-story apartment building over a parking structure. About 60 percent of the apartments would have two bedrooms; the rest would be one-bedroom units.
The home on the site would be demolished.
Residents who spoke Feb. 19 expressed concerns about the impact the development would have on the village of fewer than 600 people.
"I'm concerned about 67 apartments and the cars and traffic that would come out on Fifth Avenue and Arlington Avenue," said Lori Smith, who lives on Arlington.
"Marble Cliff is mainly single-family homes, not multifamily residences," former Village Council member Jack Kukura said. "Once single-family homes are torn down, you can't build them back. Putting a three-story, 67-unit building (on the site) is really not Marble Cliff."
Cardigan Avenue resident Robert Mone said when he moved to Marble Cliff, it was because of its reputation as "a very quiet, relatively secluded residential community.
"If this project was to move forward, it would entirely change the character of Marble Cliff," he said.
The proposal is "a humongous structure that will tower over every residential building in Marble Cliff," Mone said. "It's inappropriate for the community."
The additional traffic would be significant and the development would result in many of the additional cars traveling through the heart of Marble Cliff, he said.
Sharon Hendershot, who lives on Cambridge Boulevard, questioned whether the development would force the Grandview Heights City School District to implement busing to serve students who might live in the new apartments.
School districts must offer bus service to students who live more than 2 miles from their school, Mayor Kent Studebaker said.
Stevenson Elementary School is the farthest Grandview school from the development site, but at 1.8 miles away, it would not require busing, he said.
The village several years ago rejected a proposal to build apartments at the old Custom Coach site on Dublin Road because it was more than 2 miles away from schools, Studebaker said.
Helen Miller, a Roxbury Road resident, noted the strategic plan the village adopted in 2015 supported the redevelopment of the West Fifth Avenue site as office or residential and stated the village should "support the preservation of the historic structure, when feasible, and redevelop the surrounding land," using the redevelopment of the St. Raphael Home for the Aged site into the Prescott Place condominiums as a model.
"If Marble Cliff is not going to follow that plan as adopted, it should be removed from the village website," she said.
The village commissioned another study in 2016 to determine how best to improve the Fifth Avenue central business district, Studebaker said. The plan was written by Harrison Allen, a city and regional planning student at Ohio State University who served as a Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission intern with the village that summer. The plan's recommendations were based on interviews with business owners in the community and developers and planners throughout central Ohio.
The plan states that 2015 W. Fifth Ave. "has the highest potential to be developed into a mixed-use property" and the village should act to encourage redevelopment, perhaps into a mixed-use building such as the structure located at 3219-3241 Tremont Road in Upper Arlington, across from Kingsdale.
As it stands now, the property has few business occupants, is not being fully maintained by its owner and is a dumping site and a meeting place for after-hours activity, Studebaker said.
The village would not be the main financial benefactor if the apartment project is built, he said.
The school district would receive the most financial benefit, Fiscal Officer Cindy McKay said.
The district currently receives $17,226 annually in property-tax revenue from the site. If the development as proposed is allowed by the village, the district would receive an estimated $290,831 per year.
The Grandview Heights Public Library would see its annual property-tax revenue from the site grow from $1,612 to $27,226.
Marble Cliff's take would increase from $594 to $1,592, McKay said.
More information about the condition of the building's interior will be gleaned from upcoming fire and building inspections, which are expected to take place in the next month or two, Studebaker said.