COPLEY — A housing developer is proposing to build a $15 million to $20 million complex of apartment homes off Ridgewood Road — a project that's facing stiff opposition from some neighbors.

Redwood Living, based in Independence, wants to construct 100 single-story, two-bedroom apartments with attached garages on 58 acres tucked just west of state Route 21. The property, owned by Joel Stile, is forested and has wetlands.

The developer submitted an application to the township last week, with the proposal slated to go before the township Architectural Review Board on Dec. 3.

The board will not vote on the project until it first receives approval by several other entities, including the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on the wetlands and Summit County Engineer's Office on potential traffic issues, said Matt Springer, the township director of community and economic development.

If any of the other agencies reject the project, the township board would as well, he said.

The proposal, which says 70 percent of the property would be undisturbed, calls for apartments ranging from about 1,300 to 1,400 square feet, Springer said. The company has indicated that the rents potentially would be $1,500 to $1,600 a month, he said.

The entrance to and exit from the development would be off Ridgewood, with the road ending in a cul-de-sac. The project would be located just down the road from Copley High School.

Redwood did not return calls seeking comment. The company has apartment complexes in six states, with several developments already in the Akron area, including Cuyahoga Falls, Hudson and Wadsworth.

Many Copley residents living in the neighboring Kingsbury Trace development, where most homes are valued between $300,000 and $400,000, are upset with the proposed apartments and have submitted a petition to the township with more than 140 signatures opposing the project.

Ben Basnett, whose property would abut the apartments, said neighbors are most concerned about three issues: a decline in housing value, the loss of wetlands and forest, and the creation of a dangerous traffic intersection on Ridgewood. He also cited potential storm water run-off problems and questioned whether rents would be that high.

"There's no reason to put up an apartment complex of this nature," he said.

Basnett said neighbors are worried that the company will begin clearing trees before receiving the appropriate approvals for the project to move forward.

The company has submitted a traffic study to the Summit County Engineer's Office, with the report concluding that traffic "will not be substantially affected by the development." Engineer's office spokeswoman Heidi Swindell said the office had not yet reviewed the study.

Springer said the neighbors have many valid concerns and the township is looking into them.

"We are hearing loud and clear the concerns of the neighbors," he said. "We are taking this very seriously."

 

Rick Armon can be reached at 330-996-3569 or rarmon@thebeaconjournal.com. Follow him on Twitter at @armonrickABJ.