Park, cemetery out on Pages Lane, but residential likely

By Jenniffer WARDELL CENTERVILLE–A cemetery is definitely out for the area around Pages Lane, but a park probably is as well. In a work session held last week, the Centerville City Council determined that the planning commission’s suggestion of including a park as part of potential redevelopment along Pages Lane wasn’t a feasible use of city resources. The suggestion was discussed as part of the process for amending the General Plan for the area, which will see the once strictly commercial district turning at least partially residential in the long-term. “Looking at the parks budget, and where money was currently being allocated, they decided it would be difficult to spend $300,000 to $500,000 on a new park,” said Centerville Community Development Director Cory Snyder. The proposed general plan amendment began with a request by Brighton Homes early last year, requesting to build a residential development in an empty piece of property in the Pages Lane commercial district. The request inspired the city to consider the long-term possibility of converting the entire area to either fully or partially residential use as a way to combat the numerous vacancies. To get residents’ opinion on the matter, the council held a series of open houses and public hearings starting last May. Initially, the council considered using the area to add more cemetery space to the city, but the idea was quickly dropped. “The cemetery idea never received a lot of traction,” said Snyder. The planning commission, however, did recommend adding residential to the area on a long-term basis. The commission divided the street into western and eastern portions, recommending that the western portion eventually become mixed-use (commercial and residential) while the eastern portion would stay commercial in the short term while moving to medium-density residential in the long-term. “Their thoughts are that the eastern portion has the most vacancies,” said Snyder. “Overall, they’re sensing that redevelopment commercially (in that area) is mostly limited.” The planning commission did recommend adding a park to the area, either solely owned by the city or in partnership with one of the developers. Their thought was that green space could serve as a buffer between the western and eastern portions of the street, and during one of the meetings a developer did offer to help with a park in exchange for density. “The commission didn’t want a pocket park, because they’re small and hard to take care of,” said Snyder. “The suggestion was for a more meaningful park, but the council decided against it.” The general plan amendments have gone back to the planning commission, who are expected to remove the park-related language before the issue returns to the city council during a later meeting. Though there’s been no decision yet on when the city council will once again address the issue, Snyder expects it will be in early March.


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