Cherry Estates wants out
By LENNY C. LEPOLA
News Assistant Managing Editor
Remember Cherry Estates? If you don’t, it’s no biggie. Members of the Village of Sunbury Planning & Zoning Commission approved the un-built eight-lot mini-subdivision on East Cherry Street in Sunbury way back in October of 2006.
Then the economy tanked and Cherry Estates ground to a halt before any dirt was turned. But Cherry Estates, a Rody Properties LLC vision, did not go away; the developer tried to wait for the economy to improve before turning first dirt or selling the approved mini-subdivision to another developer.
Unfortunately, zoning certificates do not last forever; the ballpark is two years. In 2008 Rody Properties asked for and received a zoning certificate extension for Cherry Estates; and filed an application for a second extension that came before members of the zoning commission in 2010.
The plan was that happy days would return again (remember those?) and Rody Properties could resurrect Cherry Estates; but happy days are not here (yet) and Rody Properties’ optimism finally evaporated. They’ve thrown in the towel – sort of.
Several months ago Jim Ullman, representing Rody Properties, approached members of the zoning commission and proposed breaking the 3.7-acre site into three large lots and selling them to individuals to build homes on.
Fast forward to last Wednesday’s zoning commission meeting when Ullman was in chambers seeking a formal lot split for the site.
Ullman said if the lot split were approved he had a firm buyer for one lot, a tentative buyer for a second lot, and was certain that the third lot would find a buyer.
Village consulting engineer Wes Hall, CT Consultants, said all three lot’s setbacks and frontage adhere to R-3 code, but he did request that a 40-foot drainage easement be set at the back of the lots.
“The sanitary sewer lateral’s depth at the sewer main on the two east lots is in the seven– to eight– foot range,” Hall said. “They would need a nine-foot minimum to have a toilet in the basement without a basement grinder pump.”
Ullman was reminded that each lot buyer would need to purchase a sanitary sewer tap from the village, and a water tap from DelCo Water. Each tap is in the $6,000 range.
Village solicitor David Brehm noted that lot purchasers be made aware of a possible future need for sidewalks.
“In newer developments sidewalks are required,” Brehm said. “You might want to give a notice to the property owners that sidewalks could be required at a future date, but are not required now due to lack of connectivity. It doesn’t make sense to make sidewalks that go nowhere, but we do have an ordinance on the books that requires sidewalks.”
Brehm said as the village begins updating its comprehensive master plan pedestrian access corridors will be on the table.
Sunbury mayor Tommy Hatfield agreed that anyone purchasing the East Cherry Street lots should be made aware of a possible future mandate to install sidewalks.
“If sidewalks were built to their right and left most homeowners would want to put walks in,” Hatfield said. “We’re not requesting that they install sidewalks today, but it makes sense to let them know walks may be required at a later date.”
Zoning commission members approved the Rody Properties lot split request.
The next Village of Sunbury Planning & Zoning Commission meeting is scheduled for 7:30 p.m., Monday, August 27, third floor council chambers, Sunbury Town Hall. All Village of Sunbury commission, council, and committee meetings adhere to the mandates of Ohio Sunshine Law and are open to the public.