MONTVILLE TWP. — Coming off a year that saw the most new home starts in five years, Medina County will see even more new home construction in 2019 with a proposed 268-home subdivision in the township.
Rob Henwood, director of Medina County Planning Services, said Hawks Ridge would be the largest subdivision built in the county in at least five years. It will be located on the north side of Wedgewood Road (state Route 162) and west of Wooster Pike (state Route 3) in the Medina school district.
The project will be built in four phases.
“You will likely see some home construction in 2019,” Henwood said.
Henwood said Pulte Group, which he called the largest home builder in the United States, is working through some variances for some of the wetlands on the site.
However, he said he expects construction to start this year with at least the roads being installed and the lots being graded.
The site features 170.9 acres and will be zoned R-2, which is single-family suburban residential. The minimum lot size will be 22,000 square feet.
According to the preliminary plan, there will be 81.6 acres of open space and 10 public streets and associated utility easements. Five of those streets will have cul-de-sacs.
The main entrance to Hawks Ridge will come on Grovewood Lane, which is not yet built.
Currently, the area is used for agriculture or is wooded. There are several streams and wetlands on the site.
In the first variance, Pulte is asking that 65 dwelling units be permitted in Phase I of the subdivision until a through street connection can be made in Phase II. This is 15 units over the permitted maximum number of dwelling units in a single-access cul-de-sac.
That would have to be approved by the Montville Zoning Commission, said Director Paul Jeffers in the preliminary plan.
In the plans, it says the most preferred development entrance can’t be constructed until after the Ohio Department of Transportation completes its proposed roundabout, which will not occur until 2021.
In the second variance, the builder requests 49 building units on two streets, which will form a cul-de-sac. That is nine over the permitted maximum number. The Planning Commission will vote on whether to approve the two variances.
At the recommendation of Medina Assistant Fire Chief Mark Crumley, fire hydrants need to be located every 300 feet.
Jim Dieter, of the Medina County Soil and Water Conservation District, said in the plan the wetlands will need to be marked and protected.
Pulte Group, 387 Medina Road, Suite 1700, Granger Township, said in a letter to the Planning Commission that the plan currently presented offers the “least environmental impact, greatest safety and overall practical maintenance solutions.”
A representative from Pulte was not available for comment Wednesday.
The proposed plans for the new development comes after a solid construction year that saw 472 new home starts — the most in at least five years, according to Medina County Chief Building Inspector Christopher Randles.
Henwood said the housing market has been steady.
“I wouldn’t call it a housing boom,” he said. “It’s not the same sort of volumes prior to 2007 and ’08. We’ve been consistent.”
In 2018, 250 housing lots were approved. There were 294 in 2017 and 342 in 2016. There weren’t houses built on all of the approved lots, Henwood said.
“Newly approved lots for sale have been consistent over the last four or five years,” he said. “(Hawks Ridge could) push the numbers higher than they’ve been in previous years.”
Construction costs for the project weren’t available, although it will be “well into the millions, just for the infrastructure,” Henwood said.
Henwood said there is expected to be a range of prices on the housing units.