Avon Growth News, 9-30-06 to 11-14-06

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10-11-06 Avon RECYCLES

10-15-06 Avon has highest legal cost per student in Lorain County

10-19-06 Zoning issues continue in Avon

10-5-06 Petitti Garden Centers

Source: www.LorainCounty.com

Following are the 2006 General Election unofficial results released from the Lorain County Board of Elections.

Precinct Count 100.00 %, reporting 235 of 235 precincts County wide, Last Updated: 11/08/06 7:21 AM

Candidate/Issue . Lorain County . District (State) Wide


J. Kenneth Blackwell 27,040 1,382,644

Robert Fitrakis 1,196 37,865

Bill Peirce 2,141 66,525

Ted Strickland 65,086 2,253,757

Attorney General

Marc Dann 55,671 1,882,157

Betty Montgomery 37,759 1,711,767

Auditor of State

Barbara Sykes 48,709 1,744,481

Mary Taylor 42,107 1,819,038

Secretary of State

Jennifer L. Brunner 55,689 1,946,140

John A. Eastman 2,325 1,448,998

Greg Hartmann 29,570 87,571

Timothy J. Kettler 1,959 71,881

Treasurer of State

Richard Cordray 58,512 2,055,975

Sandra O'Brien 31,771 1,516,607

U.S. Senator

Sherrod Brown 63,759 2,086,784

Mike DeWine 32,565 1,648,165

U.S. Representative District 9

Marcy Kaptur 17,183 149,886

Bradley S. Leavitt 8,255 53,803

U.S. Representative District 13

Craig Foltin 28,240 81,929

Betty Sutton 38,685 129,225

State Senate District 13

Susan L. Morano 59,610 71,059

Martha W. Wise 32,080 41,317

State Representative District 56

Joseph F. Koziura 24,546 24,546

State Representative District 57

Matt Lundy 25,241 25,241

Earl J. Martin 19,695 19,695

State Representative District 58

Matthew H. Barrett 9,557 19,693

Dan White 7,556 18,792

Candidate/Issue . Lorain County . District (State) Wide

Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court Term Commencing 1/1/07

Terrence O'Donnell 47,002 1,728,960

William Michael O'Neill 30,460 1,204,252

Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court Term Commencing 1/2/07

Robert R. Cupp 36,514 1,564,662

Ben Espy 36,383 1,344,386

Judge Court of Appeals 9th Appellate District

Robert J. Brown 34,679 108,524

Clair E. Dickinson 31,834 101,095

State Board of Education 2nd District

Kenneth Ault 6,716 42,781

John R. Bender 38,236 88,323

Roland Hansen 4,050 22,108

Kathleen A. McGervey 22,464 83,316

Candidate/Issue . Lorain County . District (State) Wide

County Commissioner

Betty Blair 51,281

Rita Canfield 40,501

Judge Court of Common Pleas Term Commencing 1/1/07

Thomas W. Janas 34,272

Raymond J. Ewers 44,850

Judge Court of Common Pleas Term Commencing 1/2/07

Jeffery R. Csokmay 27,281

Edward M. Zaleski 50,244

Judge Court of Common Pleas Term Commencing 1/4/07

David A. Basinski

Judge Court of Common Pleas Term Commencing 1/5/07

James M. Burge 51,681

James S. Gemelas 23,013

Judge Court of Common Pleas Term Commencing 1/6/07

Jim Miraldi

Judge Court of Common Pleas Domestic Division, Term Commencing 1/3/07

David J. Berta 42,856

Paulette Lilly 34,675

Candidate/Issue . Lorain County . District (State) Wide

Issue 16: Avon City Renewal 0.50 mill, Fire Protection, 5 years

For 4,696

Against 2,106

Issue 17: Avon City Replacement 0.50 mill, Police Equipment, 5 years

For 4,246

Against 2,536

Issue 18: Avon City Charter Amendment, Majority Vote by Electors Necessary to Approve Rezoning of Residential Property to a Classification Other than Residential

Yes 4,414

No 2,077

Issue 19: Avon City Ward 2 Precinct A Local Option, Particular Use (Heinen's), Sunday Sales, 10am - Midnight

Yes 649

No 132

Issue 20: Avon City Ward 2 Precinct C Local Option, Particular Use (Henry's At The Barn), Sunday Sales, 10am - Midnight

Yes 305

No 94

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GUEST COLUMN from The Press, 10-11-06, by Ellen Root, Avon Recycling Coordinator


``In his absence this week, Mayor Smith requested that I write his column and bring the readers of the Press up to date on the recycling efforts and opportunities in Avon. For the past several years, Avon has been receiving grant funds enabling us to participate in the curbside "Blue Bag" recycling program.

The Lorain County Solid Waste Management District fully funded the removal of curbside recyclables with grants approved by the Lorain County Commissioners. In the past few years, although the amount of available funds has increased, the dollars granted to communities in Lorain County have diminished.

I'm proud to say that enthusiasm for recycling and the ethical and economical health of our environment here in the City of Avon has not diminished. Last May, during Avon Pride Days week, energetic volunteer Heidi Salvagni and almost 300 volunteers supported Avon's effort to beautify and clean our community. (Keep your eyes and ears open, Avon Pride Days week 2007 is coming and we'll need YOU!)

Avon's Parks Department, located at 35001 Schwartz Road, is now taking collapsed and bound cardboard to the recycling facility in Oberlin. Currently, we don't have a storage bin for after hours drop off, so kindly deliver your cardboard, including cereal boxes, etc., between the hours of 8:30 A.M. and 4:00 P.M., Monday through Friday. The Parks Department and Street Department also take yard waste from municipal properties to temporary composting sites.

Holy Trinity School, St. Mary's of the Immaculate Conception School and all of the Public Schools are participating in a very aggressive and successful paper recycling program. In case you haven't noticed, each of the schools has a green and yellow paper recycling bin located on their property for your drop-off convenience.

Allowable materials include newspaper, magazines, catalogues, paper back books, spiral bound notebooks and office & construction paper. The spirals and staples do not need to be removed. This program not only keeps tons of paper out of the landfill, it gets children involved in the recycling circle by giving them the opportunity to take the school's disposable paper to the bins, which then turns into dollars for the purchase of items for their schools.

It's the time of year for new telephone book delivery, and our new Burger King, located at 36240 Detroit Road, will have a bin on their premises from October 26th through November 13th for you to recycle your old telephone books. Look on the outside cover of the new books for Burger King discount coupons.

The Kurtz Bros. Landscape Supply Center, located at 1180 Miller Road, will take Avon resident's yard waste. For drop off hours, call 934-2091. For more information on their recycling programs, go to http://www.kurtz-bros.com/.

Our recycling program, AVON RECYCLES!! is gaining more interest every day. During our recent Homecoming Parade, the Avon Heritage North Elementary School Recycling Club marched behind a Cooper Disposal container, donated for aluminum can collection by Avon business owner Mike Cooper, and decorated with recycling artwork.

Currently, we are working with some of the Avon schools to participate in a contest recycling aluminum cans, the proceeds of which will be donated to the Avon Fire Department for ACBC, Aluminum Cans for Burned Children. Each school will be supplied with a bin with an attached can crusher and whichever school recycles the most aluminum cans (in weight) will earn an award. Each participating school will be rewarded with the pride that comes from helping children who've suffered physical harm. Watch for more information regarding this contest in next week's Press.

Remember, everyone in this community can make a difference by not littering and taking a moment to clean up after those thoughtless people that do. Before you litter, take a moment to think about the effects of your actions. All of the litter, especially the most toxic litter, and what people litter the most, cigarette butts, go into our riparian corridor (our storm sewers, then to our rivers and eventually Lake Erie).

For more information on Avon's Storm Water Management program, contact Senior Technician, Carl Orban at Bramhall Engineering, at (440) 934-7878. For more information on Avon's recycling efforts, or to find out what you can do to help AVON RECYCLES!!, contact Ellen Root at (440) 937-7821 or send an email to ellen@cityofavon.com. ''

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FEATURE ARTICLE from The Plain Dealer, 10-15-06, by Joseph L. Wagner and Patrick O'Donnell, Plain Dealer Reporters

``Northeast Ohio school districts have paid about $41 million for lawyers over the past three years, despite a state law that says they can have the work done for free.

The money spent each year is enough to buy 175,000 textbooks or pay the salaries and benefits of 275 entry-level teachers.

A mostly ignored state law that has been on the books for decades requires either the city law director or county prosecutor -- depending on the community -- to be the lawyer for most school boards, without compensation ...

Because unusual cases can cause a one-year spike in legal costs, which could distort a district's spending habits, The Plain Dealer studied three fiscal years ...''

To reach these Plain Dealer reporters: jwagner@plaind.com, paodonnell@plaind.com


EDITORIAL from The Plain Dealer, 10-17-06

``Luxury lawyers

When school districts perennially cry poor to taxpayers, news that they spend millions of dollars on outside law firms sharply threatens their credibility ...

Districts have an obligation to ensure that public dollars are spent efficiently. Sunday's article shows that many in Northeast Ohio need to review carefully their use of outside counsel and report back to voters regarding what they will do to trim any unnecessary costs.

The voters can't force smart spending, but they'll certainly limit available money whenever they find schools wasting their dollars.''


3-year school legal costs
Plain Dealer, 10-15-06

School District Enrollment Legal costs Per student
Amherst 4,127 $190,740 $46
Avon 2,892 $557,153 $193
Avon Lake 3,401 $316,066 $93
North Ridgeville 3,514 $229,450 $65
Sheffield - SL 1,868 $111,484 $60

Avon has highest legal cost per student in Lorain County


Source: http://www.loraincounty.com

``School lawyers

Well, I see in the Plain dealer of yesterday (Sunday, 10/15/06) where Avon schools spent well over half a million of our tax dollars on lawyers over the past 3 years! The article goes further and breaks this down to a per student cost. We were the highest in all of Lorain County. In fact there were only roughly nine school districts in a SEVEN COUNTY area that spent more money on lawyers on a per student basis than Avon. Is this another example of the School Board taking us resident taxpayers for granted with our money!!! The article is a "must read". I certainly hope that none of this money was spent defending XXX on her ethics charges for anonymous donations!

Written by: Avon Eagle on October 16, 2006 12:24 PM


Of course you could always go to the School Board meeting tomorrow (Tuesday [10-17-06]) night, 6:00 pm at Heritage North and start asking a lot of questions. If they say that much of the legal fees were for the battle with City Council over the Bus Palace; it is public record that the legal costs on that only represent about 5% of what they have spent over the three years.

Written by: Avon Eagle on October 16, 2006 3:19 PM


If the money was used to defend XXX it will be buried. They can't make a decision without consulting their attorney. Maybe the citizens should consider electing EDUCATED people. Didn't the article mention that schools can get free legal counsel?

Written by: jm jones on October 16, 2006 7:45 PM


Correct. They can get assitance from the State Board of Education as well as other resources in Columbus. The article in the paper also says that it is State Law that local school districts are to be represented by the local city Law Director at no cost to the school. Of course that would have been a problem in the situation with the Bus Palace! But that was a very small portion of the total legal costs of over $500,000 in three years!

Written by: Avon Eagle on October 17, 2006 11:43 AM


... the Board! Maybe THEY are lawsuit happy if they run up the highest per pupil legal costs in the entire county! How about the attempt at Eminent Domain takeover of the farm next to Heritage North? ... The BOARD incurred that expense. ... That's o.k., they'll ask us to support another levy. Let's add this up:

$1,000,000+ for the BUS PALACE

+$500,000+ unnecessary Legal Costs

= $1,500,000 blown! PRICELESS!!!

Yeah, ask me to vote "yes" on another levy! I have voted "yes" on every previous levy but I will be voting "NO!" until we have a total regime change with the schools ...


Written by: Avon Eagle on October 19, 2006 9:49 AM

If I remember correctly the City spent something in the neighborhood of $25-$30,000. I think it's a safe bet that the BOE spent something in the same ballpark.

... Instead of any more levies, why don't we just tape "anonymous contributions" to the sides of school buildings.

Written by: Avon Eagle on October 19, 2006 2:27 PM


I find it humorous that when one of us posts anything saying that we will not vote for a levy, inevitably the replies are that it will be taken out on the kids. "Pay per Play", extracurricular activities, field trips, gifted programs. "THEY" cut there because that's the only way "THEY" can get you to vote for a levy.

Why is it that we accept that as an answer to a failed levy? Why do some of you accept that as the consequence? WHY can't the consequence be that YYY will not get her BUS PALACE to do oil changes. WHY can't the consequence be that the district will need to cut out UNNECESSARY OUTSOURCED legal expenses to Baumgardner/O'Toole?

If the consequence to a failed levy was communicated, that the district wouldn't be able to build the BUS PALACE and spend less on lawyers, would you vote for the levy???

So why don't "THEY" cut there and on the legal costs instead of attacking programs for the kids to force us to support the levy ...

Written by: Avon Eagle on November 1, 2006 3:55 PM


The fight over the BUS PALACE did NOT cost the district $500K. They spent less than [about] $30K as did the city ...

Too many of you have bought into "politics as usual" around here as being o.k. Abnormal has been normal for so long, that abnormal has become normal. Try having an independant thought some time.

Written by: Avon Eagle on November 1, 2006 4:50 PM


The sad fact is that whenever a school district doesn't get the money it says it needs, the first things they cut are those programs that are most painful/obvious to parents in order to pressure them to vote YES next time around. Make the kids and the parents suffer for your lack of good judgement since they are the only ones who can continue to support it. If you took $500k away from the schools nobody would notice less outsourced legal fees. But make kids pay $50 to play soccer to make up for the "shortfall" a failed levy "causes" and it sticks it to the people who didn't give you the money in the first place.

Written by: urbanflight on November 1, 2006 4:03 PM


Since we have money to burn, the bus garage is irrelevant. Think of it an an obelisk, a monument to the Board. The real problem is storing the busses at Heritage North. The Board intends to bring the busses over in December, during the Christmas rush -- come on girls, even your lawyers will tell you that's a bad idea.

Since the location of the busses is not fixed in stone, they will end up in the industrial area, at additional taxpayer expense, especially since their presence on Detroit Rd. is no longer required for rezoning. The new commercial developments already know that heavy school bus traffic will irritate potential customers.

The bus garage can only hold 4 busses at a time; where the busses are stored makes no difference to the operation of the bus garage.

Written by: Oldtimer on November 2, 2006 7:40 AM


For all the hype, Avon schools aren't that good. Look at the report card for the district:


Look at the comparison vs. similiar districts and not vs. state. Avon trails in almost every category until 8th grade.

It's easy to be an excellent school when compared to Cleveland, Youngstown and Akron. When you look at how it compares vs. cities similiar to Avon, it's average at best.

Written by: urbanflight on November 2, 2006 10:05 AM


From cleveland.com:

"School districts receive pollution grants

Diesel buses in two Northeast Ohio school districts will spew fewer pollutants because of a grant from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

The Ohio EPA awarded Avon Local Schools in Lorain County more than $93,000 to equip 14 buses with pollution controls ..."

Written by: C.R. on November 3, 2006 3:19 PM


Too funny! What happened to "there is no issue with school bus exhaust and the health of our children?"

So either there is an issue, or the EPA is wasting $93k.

Written by: urbanflight on November 3, 2006 3:51 PM


The Middle School location was bad, but the prevailing westerly winds blew the the exhaust nano-particles into Ceekview, Lakeland, Garden Drive since the busses were stored north of the school. As of December, 2006, the busses will be stored due west of Heritage North -- a real threat to the health of our children. The $93,000 add-ons will not remove the tiny particles which cause asthma and lung cancer.

Written by: Oldtimer on November 7, 2006 7:52 AM


For less than half the cost of the bus palace, a pole barn could have been built in the industrial area which would have housed ALL the busses -- protecting them from the weather and allowing filtration of the exhaust fumes before venting to the outside -- as well as providing a heated lounge and rest rooms for the bus drivers.

Written by: Oldtimer on November 12, 2006 7:05 AM


It is not a matter of not caring about surrounding households. The old bus parking site grew up during the 1950's. There were few buses. Over the years we have become much more conscious about health issues. We have certainly added a number of buses over the years. Now we know better than to jeapordize people's health unduly.

There was an opportunity to do a better job and place the bus depot at a more appropriate spot. It was moved from a bad spot to a worse spot! ...

Written by: noname on November 15, 2006 12:42 PM


I agree 100%. I never understood the people who argued it's no worse than before. It's also no better. It's a missed opportunity that they won't have the chance to fix for another 30 years when the build the next one.

Written by: urbanflight on November 15, 2006 1:42 PM


What fuel savings ...?

They still must go to the Middle School to re-fuel!!! So the people around the Middle School lost NOTHING except that they no longer look at PARKED busses. They didn't gain a thing. Someone posted about the lost opportunity to do this right and I agree 100%, not to mention the savings to us ...

Written by: Avon Eagle on November 16, 2006 9:05 AM


... Those who purchased early were told it would be green space, but Pulte later turned it over to the school. When residents complained about that, they were told that the buses would enter/exit off Detroit.

Written by: Avon Eagle on November 16, 2006 3:36 PM


... I interpret $1,000,000 plus on a BUS PALACE as taking the voters for granted and it is also the epitome of arrogance on the part of the BOE. That arrogance was also displayed by the fact that the BOE blew over $500,000 on outsourced legal work that is available at NO COST through the State Board of Education as well as the Ohio School Board Association! Call either organization in Columbus and ask. AND NO!!! The 500K was not due to the legal fight with the city over the BUS PALACE ...

Written by: Avon Eagle on November 16, 2006 6:34 PM


I can verify this as this is what I was told. Avon building code requires a certain amount of green space for cluster homes (look at Highland Park) but they made a deal with Pulte that they would count the school as green space if the land was donated. The city gets free land, Pulte doesn't have to bother with building anything on it and repackages Bentley as a development where you can walk your kids to school. And buses would all go enter/exit on Detroit ...

Written by: urbanflight on November 17, 2006 4:04 PM''


NEWS ARTICLE from The Morning Journal, 11-2-06, by MEGAN KING, Morning Journal Writer

``Avon legal fees higher than most districts

AVON -- Construction projects, a ... legal battle between the city of Avon and the Avon school district about a school bus garage and other factors have caused Avon Local Schools to spend nearly $500,000 on outside legal counsel in the past three school years, according to district Treasurer Kent Zeman.

The high legal fees are part of the school district's growth, according to Avon Local Schools Superintendent Jim Reitenbach ...

The district has spent $183.44 per student in the last three years based on the average student enrollment during the past three school years. Similarly-sized districts in the area, such as Avon Lake and Vermilion, have spent less than $100 per student on legal fees in the past three years, according to figures provided by the districts' treasurers.

From July 2003 through June 2006, Avon schools spent $422,203.17 on contract negotiations, including contracts with architects for projects and employee contracts. This category also includes legal defense, such as due process hearings involving special education students, according to Zeman.

A total of $30,171.50 was spent in the same time period for property valuation work, and $33,733.51 on language for ballots including levies and bond issues, Zeman said.

Zeman said the district spent about $41,000 litigating against Avon City Council about constructing a bus garage at the Heritage schools complex [out of a total legal expense during the past three years of $557,153 ]. City Council and the school district battled for almost nine months in 2005 ...

Based on an average student enrollment of 2,650 for the last three school years, the district spent $183.44 per student in outside counsel fees ...''

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NEWS ARTICLE from The Morning Journal, 10-19-06.

MEGAN KING, Morning Journal Writer

``Zoning issues continue in Avon

AVON -- A bank and small strip mall are part of Lake Pointe Construction's plans for land at SR 83 and Detroit Road, a representative of developer Greg Romes told Avon Planning Commission last night [10-18-06].

The Planning Commission heard the presentation and listened to concerns from two Avon residents, but did not take action because it did not have enough time to review the updated drawings it received earlier yesterday.

Romes is in a legal battle with the city about rezoning the property, which he hopes to develop into a retail shopping area.

City Council unanimously approved rezoning from residential to commercial about 12 acres of the site in June [2006], but Romes had requested more than 22 acres be rezoned. The Planning Commission approved the full request, but it was denied by City Council.

Jeff Keefe, who represents Lake Pointe Construction, presented site plans for the strip mall and bank. Planning Coordinator Jim Piazza said the plans must be analyzed by the city's traffic consultant, utilities department and engineer before the Planning Commission votes whether to approve them.

R. Clark Perrin, a member of the Avon Citizens Committee 2006, a Political Action Committee advocating for a charter amendment to put certain rezoning issues to a vote of the public, raised several concerns, mainly saying that citizens should be able to know what the plan is for the entire property before certain aspects are considered by the commission.

''I'd like to know what the whole picture is before we approve a piece of it,'' Perrin said.

Piazza responded that the commission must consider the particular property that the applicant has requested. [Tunnel vision is mandated by law?]

Another Avon resident, Jon Pinney, asked the Planning Commission about the traffic study that was completed for the area, asking specifically when the traffic counts were made. Piazza said the traffic count was completed in August.

While half of Romes' property has already been rezoned to commercial, the rest remains in dispute. Romes filed a lawsuit against the city earlier this year, to get all the property rezoned for commercial use.

Last month, Romes filed court action requesting that the city begin a [$5 million] eminent domain action in court and compensate him for his property, arguing that the residential zoning ''renders the property economically unviable.''

Jim Lang, an attorney representing Avon, said yesterday the parties had a mediation conference in late September and nothing has been decided yet. He said another date for mediation has not yet been scheduled ...''


NEWS ARTICLE from The Sun, 9-28-06, By Mary Davies Staff Writer

``AVON -- Pickering Hill Farm, the latest Detroit Road landowner wanting to rid its residential zoning, met resistance last week [9-20-06] from planning commissioners fearful of facilitating commercial creep.

According to information from the city's building department, Pickering Hill Farm plans to build an eatery and possibly add more commercial features in the future to its 14 acres which stretch back to the upscale Bentley Park subdivision.

Pickering Hill Farm, a family owned business known for its produce grown onsite and fall hayrides, is seeking rezoning from R-1 residential to C-2 commercial, which permits businesses like restaurants, grocery stores and retail strips like French Creek Square.

Jay Pickering, who spoke to the commission on behalf of the Karel Pickering Trust, did not return a phone call seeking more details about the development plan.

Pickering told commissioners the property's residential zoning ... no longer suits the area because of nearby Detroit Road development. Recent projects include the St. Mary of the Woods retirement community, Avon schools' bus headquarters ...

[Is the main conern of the Pickering family a move by the School Board to seize their property by eminent domain for bus parking? The Board will make "Heritage North school" an oxymoron if it destroys an adjacent working farm that is an important part of Avon's cultural and historical heritage.]

Commissioners balked at rezoning Pickering's entire property, largely because the city is defending its residential zoning in a lawsuit filed by developer Greg Romes, who wants to build a shopping hub on the southeast corner of Detroit and Route 83 ...''




Jeff Keefe, representing Lake Pointe Construction, is requesting approval of the revised site plans for the development of one out parcel and on-line commercial retail building located at Detroit Road and SR-83.


Jay Pickering, representing the Pickering Trust, is requesting approval of the recommendation for Council approval of the rezoning of property located at 35735, 35715, and 35669 Detroit Road from R-2 TO C-2.


Attorney James Cullen, representing the Maple Group Group, L.L.C., is requesting approval of the recommendation for Council approval of the rezoning of P.P.04-00-021-000-213 located on the west side of Nagel Road from M-1 to M-1/C-4 overlay.


Steve Schafer, representing Schafer & Schafer Properties, is requesting approval of the recommendation for Council approval of the rezoning 1471 and 1507 Lear Industrial


Steve Schafer, representing Schafer-Dobrunz, is requesting approval of the recommendation for Council approval of the rezoning of 1502 and 1432 Lear Industrial Parking from M-1 to M-1/C-4 overlay.


Steve Schafer, representing Schafer-Dobrunz, is requesting approval of the recommendation for Council approval of the rezoning of 33665 Lear Industrial Parkway from M-1 to M-1/C-4 overlay. ...''


Source: cityofavon.com/COAcal.asp

Monday, November 13, 2006

Public Hearing for Ordinance No. 119-06

Time: 7:00:00 PM Event Type: Council


Notice is hereby given that the Council of the City of Avon shall hold a Public Hearing at 7:00 P.M. on Monday, November 13, 2006, for Ordinance No. 119-06:


The Public Hearing shall take place in the Council Chambers of the Municipal Building located at 36080 Chester Road, Avon, Ohio 44011.

By Order of the City of Avon, Ohio

Ellen R. Root, Clerk of Council, ellen@cityofavon.com


Public Hearing for Ordinance No. 120-06

Time: 7:15:00 PM Event Type: Council


Notice is hereby given that the Council of the City of Avon shall hold a Public Hearing at 7:15 P.M. on Monday, November 13, 2006, for Ordinance No. 120-06:


The Public Hearing shall take place in the Council Chambers of the Municipal Building located at 36080 Chester Road, Avon, Ohio 44011.

By Order of the City of Avon, Ohio

Ellen R. Root, Clerk of Council, ellen@cityofavon.com


NEWS ARTICLE from The Press, 10-25-06, by Rebecca Turman

``City Center plans stalled at planning commission meeting

AVON -- Due to last-minute paperwork being submitted to planning commission, Lake Pointe Construction didn't receive approval of City Center of Avon revised site plans for the development of one out parcel and on-line commercial retail building located at Detroit Road and SR-83 at the Oct. 18 meeting.

"We're quick, Jeff, but not that quick," Jim Piazza said to Jeff Keefe, who represented Lake Pointe Construction. Piazza added that the updates weren't received until earlier that day.

The applicant, Greg Romes, assured Piazza that everything was in order, Piazza said. "He may be very close to having everything done, but I can't recommend that we move forward," Piazza said to planning commission members.

Three traffic studies were done on the site because of issues with the methodology of the first two studies. Piazza said he wanted to double-check numbers and make sure that the final traffic study was approved and everything with engineering was in order before granting Lake Pointe Construction's request. "We want our traffic experts to say 'yes, this is correct,' then look at engineering," Piazza said. "Without transportation management approving it, it's a waste of time." According to Piazza, the most recent traffic study calls for widening of the road, but not for a traffic light.

Members of the Avon Citizens Committee (ACC) voiced their frustration with the City Center of Avon plans at the meeting as well. "Before we approve a piece of the puzzle, we need to know what the whole puzzle looks like," Clark Perrin said. "That's what the planning and zoning code says." Bottom line, Clark Perrin said, "I just want to know what's going in there." "We don't know, I don't even think he (Romes) knows," Piazza responded.

Perrin then criticized the traffic study that was conducted. "What are you going to do with the traffic study," he asked. "There's going to be a lot more traffic going through that intersection than what that traffic report will say."

Perrin closed in saying that Romes was playing a game by not revealing all of his plans for the development. "I understand what you want and it can't be given," Piazza said. "We're jumping way ahead of what the applicant is requesting."

Another ACC member, Jon Pinney, also questioned the traffic study. He asked when the traffic study was conducted and Piazza told him August 2006. He also asked if the 1.3 percent growth rate was factored in, but Piazza said that information was not known.

In other planning commission news, rezoning was once again a hot item. James Cullen, a lawyer representing Maple Grove Group, requested 20 acres to be rezoned from M-1 to M-1/C-4 overlay. Planning Commission approved and moved the item on to council. "As you face west, it's just south of Rock Pile," Cullen said of the land. "They do not have any immediate plans in order," Cullen said of the LLC, adding that the group may possibly consider an office building development in the future.

Schafer-Dubrunz was also granted approval from planning commission/recommendation to council to rezone several properties on Lear Industrial Parkway from M-1 to M-1/C-4 overlay.''


NEWS ARTICLE from The Press, 10-25-06, by Rebecca Turman

``Pickering Hill Farm could be expanding

AVON -- It's safe to say that picking out a pumpkin at Pickering Hill Farm is more enjoyable than discussing rezoning issues. But placing a limit on property requested to be rezoned by the Karel Pickering Trust from R-2 to C-2 to expand the family business is now an issue. Setting the limit has been the task of planning commission for the past month.

The property to be rezoned is located on Detroit Road, next to Pickering Hill Farm and consists of approximately 14 acres. "It's no longer something that is a desirable residential property," Jay Pickering said, explaining that the property is surrounded by the backside of St. Mary of the Woods and the Heritage Bus Garage.

At the Sept. 27 [2006] meeting of planning commission, members agreed that they didn't want to zone the entire property as commercial since the rear of the property stretches back into other residential property. Because of several lawsuits that the city has had to deal with recently, pertaining to zoning issues, Law Director John Gasior suggested that Planning Consultant Mark Majewski examine the request and suggest a suitable depth that could be permitted as commercial property.

Majewski recommended "300 feet or a slightly greater depth." However, Jay Pickering, of the family trust, made a case for allowing approximately a 670-foot depth. He said "that would be consistent" with the way things were zoned on the City Center of Avon property.

When asked what the family planned to do with the property, Pickering said, "We'd like to extend what we're doing now. We might want to expand into flowers." Planning Commission Chairwoman Carolyn Witherspoon pointed out that Pickering wouldn't be locked in to any plans. "Once we permit it, anything C-2 can go in," she said.

The commission seemed to agree with Pickering's need for the 670-foot property depth until Gasior spoke up. "If I have to go to court one more time, I don't want to see planning commission going against our expert and having to explain that down the line," Gasior said. "You should be very, very cautious before you go against that recommendation."

Gasior said he remembered Majewski saying in several instances "300-350 feet is about all the depth you need for a viable commercial development." "You'd place council in a difficult spot -- overrule the expert and go with Planning Commission or overrule Planning Commission and go with the expert," Gasior said. "I don't want to see this vetoed, it's an expert's opinion."

Eventually, planning commission recommended a depth of 350 feet, and advised Pickering to speak with Majewski. If Pickering presents a good case for a 670-ft. depth and council agrees, they would consider increasing the footage at that time.''

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NEWS ARTICLE from The Sun, 10-5-06, By Mary Davies, Staff Writer

[Petitti Garden Centers]

``AVON -- The bumper boats have given way to petunias. Petitti Garden Centers plans to open its seventh gardening and landscaping store at the site of the former Goodtimes Family Fun Center, off Chester Road and visible from Interstate 90.

Pam Holtz, marketing director for Petitti Garden Centers, said the company is seeking approval from Avon planning commissioners and City Council members to build the store.

She referred questions about the project to Petitti's owners, who had not returned a phone call by press time.

Other Petitti locations, all in northeast Ohio, offer a wide variety of plants, shrubs, trees, gardening supplies, lawn ornaments, fountains, home knickknacks and other items. Its Strongsville location even sells designer handbags, according to Petitti's Web site.

Good Times capped more than 13 years of operation in Avon on 9-28-06 by selling nearly every piece of equipment.

Close to 500 people, about 300 of them registered bidders from several states, attended the four-hour auction, said Bill Baker, auctioneer with Baker Bonnigson Realty & Auctioneers Inc. ... ''

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