MIDDLEBURG HEIGHTS, Ohio – Citing a need for more space, Serpentini Chevrolet representatives presented and ultimately received approval for a preliminary plan for a proposed new 50,000 square foot Middleburg Heights Collision Center for 6,679 and 6689 Engle Road.
The current Serpentini Collision Center in Berea will move from its Front Street facility.
In addition to the preliminary development plan approval, the Middleburg Heights Planning Commission approved a consolidation of four parcels and granted a conditional use permit to permit an automotive repair facility within a general industrial zoning district.
Commission members discussed at length the proximity of the new building to nearby residential properties. Residents had expressed concerns about dust, hazardous material disposal, noise, traffic, property setbacks/buffer zones and the view from their homes.
“A modern collision center is…contrary to what you might imagine,” said attorney Kevin Butler of McDonald Hopkins LLC on behalf of Serpentini. “The service carried out there for bodywork and painting inside the cabins of the building was discreet and entirely in this building, which is well insulated.
“Bay doors allow vehicles to exit when they’ve completed the process, and normally bay doors would be closed because there’s no reason to keep them open.”
He also noted that parking at the rear of the new building would only be used for employees and customer vehicles awaiting pickup after repairs.
Butler acknowledged that the site is “sandwiched between residential properties that are non-conforming uses in their current areas.” However, due to easement and retention pond requirements, he said the plan had no room to deviate from the proposed location of the building.
Serpentini will seek waivers to allow 10-15 foot setbacks for areas around the site, which is well below the 50 foot minimum required by city code.
“We have in good faith, in an effort to address these concerns, provided a fence along the property line and a screen to account for the fact that the slope dips to the north,” Butler said. “We want to honor the fact that (residents) don’t want to see our new building.”
Mounds and trees will also be used to compensate for lesser setbacks and protect neighboring properties.
“It’s a high-tech building that’s very environmentally friendly,” said entrepreneur and developer Ferris Kleem. “From a construction standpoint, if you stand next to the building, you’ll never hear what’s inside.”
“I think it’s a great project and a good use of the land,” said councilman and commission liaison John Grech, receiving confirmation that adequate access exists for firefighters’ equipment in the event. emergency.
Serpentini representatives will return with a final development plan at a later date.
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