Black Road Property Petitioned For Annexation With Plans For Over 100 New Homes And Villas

BY KAREN GERHARDINGER | MIRROR REPORTER — A triangular, 28-acre parcel of farmland at the corner of the Wabash Cannonball Trail and Black Road is in Monclova Township – for now.

Last month, township trustees and Ryan Bauman, whose Karnik on Black and Karnik Memorial Garden abuts the parcel, learned that the land at 5221 Black Rd. could soon be annexed into Maumee.

Zac Isaac, whose Isaac Land Investments owns about 318 acres around The Shops at Fallen Timbers, submitted a petition for annexation to the Board of Lucas County Commissioners on January 24. 

“It doesn’t make sense to have two different jurisdictions,” Isaac said of his mall-area property – all of which is in Maumee except the 28-acre parcel.

In December 2021, trustees approved rezoning the parcel residential so that Steve Mitchell of Buckeye Builders could build The Enclave at Fallen Timbers, a 172-home development that would have spanned both the township and Maumee properties. Mitchell now said revised plans for the development would include over 100 single-family homes and villas.

“The original layout will change due to it all being in Maumee,” Mitchell said. “It’s a great project and a great location.”

He is also committed to an earlier promise to team up with Bauman to utilize a 3-acre parcel adjacent to Karnik on Black to install a dog park.

“We’re still very excited to make that happen. It’s a good amenity for our neighborhood and our whole community,” said Mitchell, who also plans to add multipurpose paths connecting the dog park, neighborhood and Wabash Cannonball Trail. He expects construction to begin in 2025.

Housing in that area is a vital component to saving the mall, agreed Maumee administrator Dr. Patrick Burtch and Monclova Township trustee Barbara Lang. 

“If we have a substantial residential component around it, we have a better likelihood of success,” Burtch said of the mall, which opened just before the recession of 2008.

While Lang agrees, she’s frustrated about the annexation of even more land out of the township.

In June 2022, Maumee City Council approved a request by Isaac to annex another parcel of land at the northeast corner of the mall property, where it abuts Jerome Road. That property is slated for 139 villas. 

In an attempt to fight that 2022 annexation, trustees and township legal counsel Dawn Sanderson sent a letter to the city, citing a cooperative economic development agreement (CEDA) that was created when the Maumee-Monclova-Toledo Joint Economic Development Zone (JEDZ) was formed in 2002. That agreement prohibits the annexation of unincorporated territory unless all the partners agree, Sanderson said.

She quoted two sections of the CEDA agreement stating that Maumee will not file a petition for the exclusion of the annexed property from Monclova and that annexation cannot happen without approval by all three parties: Monclova, Maumee and Toledo.

In December 2022, the three parties – Maumee, Monclova and Toledo – met with a mediator to discuss their differences, and in the end, Burtch and Lang signed an agreement.

That agreement states that the Jerome Road property will be annexed and that Maumee will not attempt to reduce the property tax revenue received by the township.

“Those tax dollars will always stay with the township based on the type of annexation petition filed,” Sanderson said.

In addition, the agreement states that if Isaac files an additional petition for annexation of property not in the CEDA or JEDZ, the township would still get the tax dollars. The Black Road property being considered now nets the township about $160 a year to cover police, fire, roads and the General Fund. 

“This agreement has some really good points, but it hasn’t worked to solve our problem,” Lang said. “The process of stopping annexation still hasn’t moved forward.”

Once annexed. Maumee would need to provide police and fire services for the property, but the homes – like all of those around the mall – will be within Anthony Wayne Local Schools.

“With new home construction in that area, there is a potential of an increase in the number of students attending Monclova Primary and the campus buildings,” said Anthony Wayne Local Schools Superintendent Dr. Jim Fritz, who monitors housing growth and its possible impact on enrollment and resources.

Several other projects have been proposed for the area around the mall, including villas near the southwest portion of Isaac’s property, near Black and Stitt roads. Isaac has been working with Maumee and state and federal partners to see about getting Norfolk Southern, which has a railroad siding running through the middle of the property, to allow a crossing to be built to connect the western neighborhoods to the mall without having to use Black or Stitt roads.

“It will take a joint effort,” Burtch said. “At some point, it seems unfair for a railroad to hold up a community from developing the property because it has no way to get there without a crossing.”

A few years ago, a deer camera was placed on the property and the only action within 24 hours was that four rail cars from Johns Manville were placed there temporarily.

In the meantime, Maumee is investing in the property with a 1,100-foot extension of Maple Drive and the construction of a sanitary sewer line that will be bored under the railroad tracks from the east to service the future housing development.

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