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Mentor places rezoning of land at Market Street, Munson Road on ballot

Lindsey O’Brien | The News-Herald

Mentor City Council unanimously voted on Jan. 7 during a special meeting to place the rezoning of undeveloped land at Market Street and Munson Road on the March 15 ballot.

The rezoning, which is now up to Mentor voters, would change 12 acres of land on the northwest corner of Market Street and Munson Road from R-4, Single Family Residential to B-2, General Business district.

Prior to passing, Mentor council members discussed at length issues such as stormwater detention, availability of overflow parking and placement of the building on the land. Law Director Richard Hennig said that the development agreement has undergone numerous changes.

The two biggest changes, Hennig explained, were changes to restructuring of prohibited and approved uses and an agreement on parking.

“We’ve listed all of those specific and conditional uses and delineated which ones would be used in this area if it’s rezoned and approved by the voters and which would not be used,” Hennig said.

The parking agreement was not as specific, since the placement of the building on the land has still not been decided. The agreement does, however, specifically state that the city of Mentor will have access to parking during special events, where there will be a large turnout.

Hennig made sure to note to Jim Kleinfeld of the Boldt Co., the developer of the project, that the document is not effective until voters have approved the rezoning.

With the cutoff date to file the rezoning with the Lake County Elections Board coming up in one week, Councilman at large Scott Marn said that future projects like this should be more organized.

“...The only thing missing from this was the car with a bunch of clowns getting out of it,” he said. “It’s been hectic, there’s been a lot of things to change of that nature, so moving forward, in my opinion, this can’t happen again.”

If the rezoning passes with Mentor voters, Lake Health plans to build a new two-story, 86,000-square-foot medical office, urgent care, rehabilitation and aquatics center on the property. The new facility will employ 150 new workers, 75 of them new to the city of Mentor.

Mentor School District will partner with Lake Health to use the aquatics center for its swim team and host swim meets, offer internships to students interested in the health care industry and relocate its Cardinal Clinic to the facility.

Mentor Schools Superintendent Matthew Miller said that the project will not be a taxpayer expense.

Kleinfeld added that the Boldt Co. estimates they will pay $400,000 per year in real estate taxes.

“I think, as you all know, the property does not currently generate real estate taxes,” Kleinfeld said during a council work session on Jan. 6.

The property would be owned by the Lake County Ohio Port and Economic Development Authority, which will then lease the property out to the Boldt Co.’s Lake Mentor Properties LLC in a 99-year ground lease and a 25-year lease for the building. In turn, Lake Mentor Properties will lease the building to Lake Health for 18 years.