Final Vote Nears on Controversial Development Near Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Mar 18, 2019

The Planning and Zoning Committee of Cuyahoga Falls City Council will discuss a proposed rezoning on Monday that would enable redevelopment of the Sycamore Valley Golf Course in the Merriman Valley into a 148 townhome community.

The developer, Danny Karam of the Sycamore Valley Development Co., asked the city to rezone the 28-acre property at 1651 Akron-Peninsula Road from an E-1 Employment District to R-3 Sub-Urban Density Residential. The townhouses would be built six to an acre by Ryan Homes.

The city’s Planning Commission unanimously approved a conceptual plan for the development in early March. The approval included a “conservation overlay” to the plan that required the developer to leave 30 percent of the property undeveloped green space, said the city’s Community Development Director Diana Colavecchio.

The new development would generate an additional $690,000 in real estate tax revenue for the Woodridge Local School District, she said. The site currently generates $20,000 for the district.

Since the proposal was announced, Falls residents have voiced concerns during public hearings about the potential for flooding and reduced property values, as well as apprehension about the allotment’s density in close proximity to the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

If the zoning change is approved, the developer will be required to create a master plan in which a traffic study, a flood plain analysis and water runoff issues are evaluated, Colavecchio said.

If the proposal is advanced by the planning committee, City Council could vote on the rezoning next Monday, March 25.