Instead of an evening of controversy on Monday, the planning commission in Hudson received a creative proposal concerning the rezoning of the former Clarke Ford property.
Collection Auto Group President Bernie Moreno has been seeking to rezone portions of 5751, 5715 and 5735 Darrow Road from outer village residential to outer village commercial.
The goal of the rezoning is to allow for an additional paved parking area.
About a dozen residents living adjacent to the property expressed concerns at the Sept. 5 city council meeting. The focus of their objections was the potential loss of a wooded buffer zone, located between the commercial property and the residents' homes.
Moreno addressed the planning commission on Monday after attending an open forum meeting with residents held prior to the meeting.
He said that Collection Auto Group is "trying to show good faith that we really do mean to be a good member of the Hudson community."
Moreno then made a modification to his proposal, asking for a rezoning of only the 21,000 square feet needed for the expanded parking area.
He said the company would agree to create a permanent conservation easement in the buffer, provide additional landscaping and install an eight-foot fence to block the residents’ view into the business.
Commission member Michael Dostal described this as both a permanent solution and "a really effective solution."
Fellow member Robert Drew concurred, saying that it was very generous of the company to buy this property and then give several acres back to the community.
A motion was passed to recommend that the Hudson City Council approve the proposed zoning map amendment.
The commission further recommended that the approval not be granted until a conditional use application is filed, along with an application for a permanent conservation easement.
Commission member Rob Kagler was the only vote against the recommendation. He does not disprove of what Collection Auto Group wishes to do, but thinks that it should be accomplished by use of a variance instead of a rezoning.