Sylvania residents not happy with Lourdes Expansion

SYLVANIA, OH (Toledo News Now) – Sylvania residents are unhappy about a possible expansion project through Lourdes University. The university is going through the process of getting plans approved through the city of Sylvania to expand, which includes the construction of two new buildings.

Ann Taylor can't help but be concerned over plans Lourdes University has to build a 47,000 square foot athletic building, just 75 feet from her home in the Bent Creek Crossing condominiums off Brint Road:

"The minute I walked into this place on a Sunday afternoon open house, I gave the real estate agent a $100 check to hold it for me because I love the ambiance, I love the woods, it's just so private and so beautiful. Now they're talking about ruining that for us."

The project includes the construction of the athletic building behind the condos and an academic building on convent, plus parking lots. Residents want the building locations switched.

"We're concerned that putting a basketball arena in this beautiful wooded area as you can see, a 47,000 square foot basketball arena that's supposed to hold 2900 people, we just can't envision that in a residential neighborhood," Taylor explained.

Residents of the Crossing condos hired a lawyer to help get their point across. Attorney Marshall Bennett has successfully influenced Lourdes officials to move a buffer zone back from 25 feet to 75 feet away from resident's property and to include more privacy, but he still wants more.

"That you simply reject this application that is pending, if you don't do that, we would ask that you approve the planning commission's recommendations, with the additional factors that we've requested. Particularly regarding the commercial sales of memberships to people outside of the Lourdes community," Bennett says.

The planning commission is recommending the building locations also be switched, but as council members expressed Monday night, many are in favor of the current proposal in place through Lourdes.

"This is in support of the strategic plan of Lourdes University, we continue to believe that is makes Lourdes a vital neighbor to the Sylvania community. That it allows us to bring students, not only from our area but from around the United States, here to Sylvania to study, to live, and hopefully, at the end of the day to want to remain here," said Lourdes University President Dr. Robert Helmer.

Action on the plan moved to two weeks from now at the next council meeting on June 18 in order to give council members more time to review all the details.

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