Rezoning gets nod over some resident objections

By Evan Goodenow -

Rezoning was approved Monday by city council for several properties on East Lorain and Orchard streets to make them conform to Oberlin’s future use plan.

Six East Lorain properties switched from a C-1 central business district designation to a C-2 general business classification. Six East Lorain properties switched from C-1 to R-1B single-family dwelling district designation.

One went from C-1 to an R-1 single-family district. Six Orchard properties went from from C-1 to R-1B.

An R-1B designation allows for smaller setbacks and lot sizes than R-1. It also allows for “home occupations” such as a bed and breakfast or limited use by clergy, dentists, and doctors.

A C-2 designation allows for broader uses and has setback requirements, unlike C-1 classifications. All downtown businesses are classified C-1.

Eva and George Horning, who own a property at 417 East Lorain St., were unhappy about their home being zoned residential. George Horning said he rents out the currently unoccupied upstairs floor and runs a repair business out of the ground floor that includes doing machining and woodworking. He noted there are businesses across the street from his property.

“We’re being wronged here,” he said. “We’re a building in the middle of all kinds of businesses.”

However, city officials noted there are no businesses on the side of the street where 417 East Lorain is located and planning commission members recommended the change to council based on recommendations of Oberlin’s planning department.

Council in April sent the proposal back to the commission for further study after a few residents complained. Commission members recommended no changes.

“I just don’t see how we can allow commercial (properties) to be in residential,” council president Ron Rimbert said before the vote. “Planning’s looked at this for months.”

Evan Goodenow can be reached at 440-775-1611 or @GoodenowNews on Twitter.

By Evan Goodenow