2010-03-03 / Front Page

New site picked for hall

by ERIC LEVINE editor

Mark and Nancy Caringi are considering this undeveloped property along Miller Road, east of the Soil Conservation building, to build a 6,000 square foot banquet hall. The entrance driveway would be on Miller, and the hall would be south of the Soil Conservation building. The property is about a quarter mile east of M-19 in Watertown Township. Photo by Eric Levine Mark and Nancy Caringi are considering this undeveloped property along Miller Road, east of the Soil Conservation building, to build a 6,000 square foot banquet hall. The entrance driveway would be on Miller, and the hall would be south of the Soil Conservation building. The property is about a quarter mile east of M-19 in Watertown Township. Photo by Eric Levine WATERTOWN TWP. - A Sandusky couple anxious to break ground on a banquet hall has picked a new site for the project.

Mark and Nancy Caringi want to buy approximately three acres of land on Miller Road, east of M-19 and the Soil Conservation Building.

The property is part of a larger parcel containing 23.72 acres that is zoned residential.

Property owner Scott Campbell has requested the entire parcel be rezoned for commercial use. The township planning commission will hold a public hearing on the request March 18 at 7 p.m. The hearing is the first of a three-step process to change the property classification: The planning commission's recommendation would go to the county planning commission for its recommendation; and the county's recommendation would forwarded to the township board of trustees, for a final decision.

For the Caringis, timing is crucial. They're hoping the matter can be resolved quickly so they can close the real estate deal - which is contingent on the rezoning - and begin construction.

"It has to be this spring," said Mark Caringi. "I have to break ground or we won't do it. That's an absolute must."

Caringi said his goal is to break ground on April 1 and "be up and running July 1."

The couple plans to build a 6,000 square foot facility that would hold about 300 people. The entrance driveway would be on Miller Road, and the hall that would be located to the south of the Soil Conservation building.

Caringi said he has also been approached by the City of Sandusky to purchase land in the industrial park. He said the Miler Road site is the couple's first choice, but if the public hearing doesn't go well, they would consider the city's offer. Caringi said he's been discussing the matter with City Manager Paul Cowley.

Originally, the couple wanted to build the hall on nearby Davis Road. But the township board refused last month to rezone the property from residential to commercial after listening to strong objections from neighbors.

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