AURORA — Pulte Homes has reduced the number of proposed units and made other changes to its development plans for 245 acres of former Sea World/Geauga Lake Park property.

“The revisions indicate Pulte is listening to opinions about its plans,” city Councilwoman and Planning Commission Chair Kathi Grandillo said. “We appreciate their willingness to compromise.”

Among the changes in Pulte's updated plans for the property:

• Reduced overall units from 321 to 308, which would be 1.4 units per acre and 55 percent of allowable density. Units in the east enclave (east of the Norfolk Southern railroad tracks) would be reduced from 145 to 125.

• East enclave entrance off Treat Road revised to minimize view of housing units from Treat Road.

• Front and side yard setbacks increased, resulting in more separation between units.

• Front setbacks varied in east enclave to enhance streetscape.

• 141.6 acres of the site would be open space, which is 58 percent of the total acreage.

The 125 units in the east enclave would be ranch-style homes. On the west side of the railroad tracks, 119 units would be townhomes (five units each in 24 buildings) and 64 would be single-family reserve lots.

Under Aurora’s mixed-use zoning, Pulte could erect 2.5 units per acre, or 559 total units.

In the west conclave, proposed lot depths have been increased and range between 140 and 180 feet. Lot widths would be 60 feet, whereas the original plans called for a mixture of 56 feet and 60 feet.

The cul-de-sac in the west enclave, which would be entered off Squires Road, has been extended, and 26 additional guest parking spaces near the townhomes are planned, bringing total spaces for residents and visitors to 502.

In the east enclave, 60-foot lot widths have been eliminated, and only 80-foot wide lots would be available. Lot depths have been increased and most of them range between 140 and 195 feet.

The entrance to the east enclave off Treat Road would align with Tara Drive leading into Tara at Barrington. Interior neighborhood open space on the east side also has been reduced to allow for larger lots.

Pulte spokesman Jim O’Connor said existing trees along about 2,800 feet of Treat Road, plus additional trees and evergreens and reconfiguration of the entrance area, would block or minimize passersby views of the homes closest to Treat.

O’Connor said 25 percent of the east enclave homes would have two-car side entry garages, 50 percent would be either two-car or three-car front entry and 25 percent would be mixed depending on buyer preference.

O’Connor said that Pulte officials plan to develop the site in three phases, with total buildout occurring over a five-year period.

Pulte originally had proposed donating 112 acres of the property to the city to be developed as parkland. That amount has been reduced to 98 to allow for the larger lots.

O’Connor said after hearing negative feedback to the parkland plan from the public, that aspect of the development could change. “If the city doesn’t want the donated land, it would be left as green space,” he noted.

Pulte’s plans to set aside 20.6 acres surrounding the Liberty Ford dealership for commercial use have not changed.

The conceptual development plan will remain on the planning panel’s agenda, and Grandillo said there is no indication at this time as to when the panel might act on it.

 

Reporter Ken Lahmers can be reached at 330-541-9400, ext. 4189 or klahmers@recordpub.com.