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Grand Rapids residents left with questions following approval of new housing development

Mayor of the Village of Grand Rapids John Berry says the first phase will include up to 17 new homes.

GRAND RAPIDS, Ohio — A new housing development in historic Grand Rapids, Ohio has people in the area talking.

Some have said that it's not right for the small-town feel, but others think the new houses will be good for the town. 

The plan is news to Veronica, who has lived on Front street for 20 years. 

"The majority of people in this town didn't know about it. We did not have a choice or a chance to voice our opinion on it," she said.

Village of Grand Rapids Mayor John Berry said it's been in the works for about a year-and-a-half.

"I wish they could have come to the meetings earlier. It's been posted. It's been advertised. We don't stand on the corner and tell everybody this is gonna happen, but it's kinda their own fault for not really catching up with what's going on in town," Berry said.

On Thursday, the planning commissioners unanimously voted to move forward with River's Crossing.

"That was for the passage of plat one with the deficiencies corrected," Berry said. 

The vote means that up to 17 homes will go up on the southwest corner of town, on W. Third St., and near Sailor Lane.

"(There are) big ramifications for the county as a whole. Who's paying for what? What's it gonna do to our taxes? What's it gonna do to our schools? Grand Rapids is a small town. That's why we live here and I really don't think anybody's very happy with explosive growth," Veronica said.

But, Berry seems to think otherwise.

"Having more houses makes other things grow, too. Maybe there will be a grocery store someday... another gas station. It does make things grow. So, it's better than sitting on a property for 40 - 45 years and nothing happens to it at all," he said.

The plans are moving forward with some deficits they will present to the developer. 

Veronica said she's not completely against it, but wants more details. 

"I would like to know more about the developers. Because, you know, there's always social media crap going on. I want to know why there wasn't more transparency. Why weren't we told about this from the get-go," she said.

   

If you'd like to voice your concerns, Berry said you can stop by city council meetings. They are held every second and fourth Monday of every month.

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