Avon Growth News, 6-14-06 to 9-29-06

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6-14-06 Council votes to rezone Romes parcels

6-14-06 West Shore Greenway Project

7-4-06 Renovate, Don't Demolish

7-7-06 Relief from the SR 83 dogleg after 36 years

7-27-06 Negative recommendation on Firment expansion to Avon

8-1-06 Henkel picks Avon for expansion

8-16-06 Zoning Charter Amendment on November 2006 ballot

12-5-06 Avon Loses Danco

NEWS ARTICLE from The Press, 5-24-06, By Julie A. Short

``Parking ban passes

AVON -- ... In other council news, the members passed a parking ban on all city streets from 2 am - 6 am. Signs will be posted at the entrances to the city reminding residents and visitors of the ban. Special consideration will be given to residents that have guests in from out of town or other circumstance that warrant leaving cars parked in the street, providing the home owner notifies the police department in advance. The city also has an ordinance on the books prohibiting parking on the fire hydrant side of the street ...''

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NEWS ARTICLE from The Press, 6-14-06, By Julie A. Short

[Council votes to rezone Romes parcels]

``AVON -- After months and months of discussion and changes, city council voted 7-0 to rezone approximately 13 acres of property located at the southeast corner of Detroit Road and SR 83 from R-2 (two family) to C-2 (central business/French Creek District) during its Monday night (June 11 [2006]) meeting ...

The property in question is owned by Lake Pointe Construction (Greg Romes). This is the second time in two months that members of council voted to grant a rezoning request. In April [2006], council voted to rezone approximately 14 acres of property on Detroit Road (Piazza Greenhouse property) from R-2 (two-family) to C-2 (central business/French Creek District), pursuant to a court order. The property is owned by Village at Creekside (Steve Schafer [and James Gamellia]). In light of that court order, [Council] deemed it necessary to review the Romes property.

The same judge (Edward Zaleski) who ruled on the above [Piazza Greenhouse property] case has also been assigned the Lake Pointe Construction case, which initially had requested to rezone approximately 22 acres at the southeast corner of Detroit Road and SR 83 from residential to commercial. "'While there is no court order at this time [regarding the Romes lawsuit] in light of how the courts ruled on the Schafer case, council deemed it necessary to move forward with Romes," Law Director John Gasior said previously.

The developer filed a lawsuit with the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas on Jan. 3 (the case has since been transferred to Lorain County). As stated in the lawsuit, action is brought under Rule 57 of the Ohio Rules of Civil Procedure and the Ohio Revised Code, petitioning the Court to declare unconstitutional and unlawful Avon's Zoning Code as it applies to the property because such zoning, on its face and as applied to the property, is "arbitrary, capricious, unreasonable, confiscatory and unconstitutional; bears no rational relationship to the health, safety, morals or general welfare of the residents of the city of Avon; and renders the property economically non-viable as currently zoned."

Romes tried unsuccessfully last year [2005] to rezone 22 acres of land on the southeast quadrant of Detroit Road and SR 83 ... Since then, several options as to the layout of the property were discussed for the proposed 13 acres during planning commission meetings ... The ordinance that was adopted Monday night shows the line running parallel [to Detroit Road].

Romes was not in attendance during the meeting, nor was his legal counsel John Slagter of Buckingham Doolittle & Burroughs, LLP. The next court date on the Romes case is June 22 [2006].

At the end of the meeting, Avon Citizens Committee (ACC) co-founder Tim Bresnahan publically thanked the council for their vote. Members of the ACC political action committee have been vocal in the past regarding rezoning requests that have come before the city. The committee has been considering placing a charter amendment on the ballot. The charter amendment would require a citywide vote to approve the rezoning of parcels zoned residential to any form of commercial zoning within the city of Avon.''

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NEWS ARTICLE from The Morning Journal, 6-14-06, by BETH STALLINGS, Morning Journal Writer

[West Shore Greenway Project]

``VERMILION -- City officials in Vermilion are hoping to jump on board with the proposed commuter rail project that could connect several area communities with downtown Cleveland.

Known as the West Shore Greenway project, the plan is for the rail line to connect Cleveland with Lorain, making stops in Lakewood, Rocky River, Westlake, [Avon], Avon Lake and Sheffield Lake.

Even though the rail line ends in Lorain under current plans, trains could be extended to Sandusky, making Vermilion ''a natural stop in between,'' according to Jason Hamman, chair of the Vermilion Economic Development Commission.

While the project is still in the planning phase, the possibility of adding Vermilion to the transit map will be presented at a public meeting tonight [6-14-06] by Ken Prendergast of Cleveland-based NEOtrans Consultants ... Right now, Prendergast is trying to get financial support for his vision, which is estimated to cost $13 million, according to Hamman.

Hopes are to try the rail line for one year to gauge public reaction. Costs apparently will be kept down by purchasing used Amtrak engines and passenger cars, Hamman said. ''Cities like Chicago practically give those cars away,'' he said.

Hamman, who is also a member of Lorain County Community Development, said he approached Prendergast after hearing him speak at a county event. He asked if he would consider extending the line to Vermilion. ''He seemed excited about it,'' Hamman said.

The West Shore Greenway project is a regional project, separate from the Ohio Hub Plan -- a high-speed passenger rail service that would connect Cleveland to cities all over Ohio, including Lorain, Toledo, Cincinnati and Columbus. This project is being sponsored by the nonprofit organization All Aboard Ohio ...''


NEWS ARTICLE from The Morning Journal, 8-31-06, by KATE GIAMMARISE, Morning Journal Writer

``CLEVELAND -- A former U.S. transit administrator had bad news for local officials yesterday -- don't expect much federal money.

Though Lorain city, county and port authority officials have been working for years to make a commuter rail line linking this area to Cleveland a reality, federal funding for the estimated $40 million project is still far from assured.

''It's become increasingly complicated, increasingly difficult and increasingly time consuming for projects to advance through this (funding) process,'' said David Vozzolo, a former deputy associate administrator for the Federal Transit Administration. Vozzolo was in attendance at a Lorain--Cleveland commuter rail line meeting yesterday at Cleveland City Hall.

Vozzolo said the funding process is very competitive, and many areas are vying for the funds, particularly high-growth cities in the west and southwest that are adding thousands of people and cars every year.

He told the several dozen transit and local government representatives that those involved in working on the project need to step back and consider if it is really worth pursuing federal funding and perhaps consider alternative funding ideas -- from private or state sources.

Local officials say while they are open to pursuing other options, it's still a project worth fighting for.

''We're going to have to slug it out,'' said Lorain Port Authority Executive Director Rick Novak, who attended the meeting. ''But that doesn't mean we should shy away from it.''

County Commissioner Betty Blair said there is nothing to lose by asking for federal money.

''I think (Vozzolo) was trying to put us in a realistic frame of mind,'' she said. ''I don't think we should fold our tents and go home just because he painted a less than rosy picture.''

High gas prices, traffic congestion and environmental concerns all are reasons to support the project, said Elizabeth Thames, who was at yesterday's meeting and serves as district director for U.S. Rep. Sherrod Brown, D-Avon.

''Finding money is difficult,'' she said. ''That doesn't mean it's impossible.''

Vozzolo, who now works in the private sector doing transit-related work at an engineering firm, suggested pursuing private financing for the project based on the development opportunities that would arise around the proposed rail stations in Cleveland, Lorain and several stops in between.

Dennis Lamont, who has worked to promote the rail line project as well as bringing electric trolley service to downtown Lorain, suggested an idea that was tried in Florida -- having the state buy the tracks and lease it to the railroad.

But money from the state for public transit has declined dramatically in recent years, said Joseph A. Calabrese, CEO of the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority.

Funding levels have declined from $43.35 million annually in 2001 to only $16 million in 2006, to be split between 60 transit systems, Calabrese said.

Calabrese said Ohio spends only $1.58 per person on mass transit. He said other states with comparable population spend far more money on a per-person basis -- $63.29 in Pennsylvania and $20.73 in Michigan.

But Blair said local officials will keep pushing.

''What is our choice? We can do nothing and have nothing,'' she said. ''Or we can keep plugging away and have something.''''


NEWS ARTICLE from The Chronicle-Telegram, 8-31-06. by Joe Medici

``Plan for commuter rail line rolls on without due date

CLEVELAND -- The line to board the train is forming, but nobody seems to know when it will arrive. More than 30 officials from communities in Lorain and Cuyahoga counties met Tuesday at City Hall in Cleveland to discuss the logistics of a commuter railway in the West Shore Corridor, which stretches from Cleveland to Vermilion.

The push for a commuter line is alive and well, according to those who attended the meeting, but it could still be more than a decade before the rail line is established.

"We're optimistic. This commuter line is needed and we've crossed the first step by getting all these people together," Lorain County Commissioner Betty Blair said. "The timing will all depend on the funding."

Guest speaker David Vozzolo, an associate with HDR-S.R. Beard & Associates, a transportation consulting firm based in Phoenix, agreed that funding was at the heart of the timeline and said similar projects in Florida, Colorado and Pennsylvania had taken anywhere from two to 20 years to complete.

There are limited federal funds available every year for transportation projects, but that is divided up throughout the entire country, Vozzolo said. "It's becoming increasingly more difficult and time consuming to get federal funding and you have to decide if it's beneficial to continue pursuing those funds or to try to use more local funding to get the project going," he said.

By using alternative funding sources, such as tax incremental financing, private funding and capital financing, many communities have been able to build up commuter travel in a shorter period of time and at a lesser expense, Vozzolo said.

Despite the tough road ahead Cleveland Councilman Kevin Kelley, who hosted the meeting, said he was pleased with the results. "It was a pleasure to come here and hear people's ideas and how they think we can move forward," Kelley said. "There is a tremendous amount of power in this room with all of these civic leaders and that is what it's going to take to get this train line."

Kelley's optimistic sentiments were reverberated by many. Kelley said a date for the next meeting has not yet been set but the meeting will take place somewhere in Lorain County. Before that meeting, law directors in Cleveland, Lakewood, Bay Village and Rocky River plan to review contracts their cities have with Norfolk Southern, the owner of the existing rail lines, to ensure that a commuter line would be permitted.''


NEWS ARTICLE from The Press, 8-2-06, by Rebecca Turman

``AVON -- Street issues, a possible commuter rail and what to do with available land on Chester Road were the main topics at the Avon Master Plan Review meeting on July 26 [2006].

Professional Planner Mark Majewski led the session on issues that need to be updated on the Master Plan when it comes to major roads and land use patterns in Avon.

Overall, Majewski commented that 14 years later, the city has been very consistent with road and land use patterns that were put in place in the 1992 Master Plan. "I've heard a lot of complaints about rezoning, but the city stuck to the plan, for the most part," Majewski said. "There aren't huge changes in the pattern."

The new I-90 interchange on Lear Nagle will need attention in the Master Plan, Majewski said. "It will make that area more significant and a more highly traveled corridor ..."

Another area Majewski suggested is an important one to look at is the industrial zone on Mills Road. "That industrial was put there because it was industrial," Piazza said. "There have been talks about whether we'd entertain something other than industrial there. It's possible that commercial may be better there in the long run. There's a few properties there for sale now that we may want to look into."

With gas prices sky-rocketing the past year, a commuter rail stop in Avon along the tracks at SR 83 was also a big part of the discussion. "I think this Master Plan should include a rail," Avon Historical Society President Taylor J. Smith said. "More and more people will choose not to drive. I think we need to be prepared to adapt to a totally new transportation."

Majewski said the gas predicament is a little ironic, "We're buying more gas than we've ever purchased and gas prices are higher than ever. It's (gas prices) a current issue," he said. "In communities like this, you don't know what to do about it." ...

Another topic that was discussed at the meeting was what to do with land on Chester Road. Currently, there is about 100 acres of land on the market, according to Piazza. "Do we really want multi-family up against I-90," Piazza asked. "Or do we consider proposed commercial or office areas?" ...

Planning commission member Bill Fitch said he didn't think multi-family housing would be the right fit for that area. "People will build there and industry will build up around them -- this will cause problems."

Ann Forthofer, mayor's representative on planning commission, agreed with Fitch that it wouldn't be the right fit and expressed concern that multi-family housing may put a strain on schools. "Every time we go to the ballot, there is another levy," she said. "Is it (the housing) a necessity -- I don't think so."

The next Master Plan Review meeting will be held Sep. 27 [2006] at 7 pm.''

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Renovate, Don't Demolish

See http://www.coolcleveland.com/, 7-4-06.

On preserving historic schools:

``Taxpayers in Cleveland and the State of Ohio should pay close attention to the historic schools feasibility study recently published by the Cleveland Restoration Society. The findings of this study underscore the colossal waste of taxpayers money being spent on new schools when existing historic schools can be renovated for substantially less cost.

In addition to the huge potential costs savings, there are other significant benefits to renovating historic schools: Most existing schools were designed and built during the most prosperous era in American history and were constructed of the best materials available. These buildings frequently contain built-in artwork and fine details that are not affordable today.

Ironically, it is the new schools, often built of lower-quality materials to meet severe current budget constraints, that are now being designed for only a 40-year life cycle. Existing school buildings frequently embody a sense of community history and provide neighborhoods with an important sense of identity. Can new budget-driven school designs accomplish the same?

Rehabilitation of existing schools generates more economic impact than new construction. Data from the US Commerce Department shows that $1 million spent on rehabilitation creates five more construction jobs and three more permanent jobs that the same $1 million spent on new construction. Because rehabilitation involves up to 20% more labor than new construction, many of the new jobs are local, which will exponentially benefit a region's economy. Historic schools can be successfully modernized to provide a contemporary learning environments.

The latest technology can be installed in older buildings, which will meet educational programming needs and foster successful learning. There are great example of this throughout the United States, Ohio and even locally. The recently renovated John Hay High School in Cleveland is an outstanding model we should follow.

Recycling existing buildings teaches the lessons of preserving and conserving resources, enabling students to appreciate the fine workmanship of their construction and connecting them to past generations. Let's not pile up local landfills with the civic investments of our predecessors.''

from Cool Cleveland reader Anthony W. Hiti


``I have been active in historic preservation for many years and have been on the CRS board for the past five years. I wanted to respond to your question: "Are we demolishing gems or is restoration just throwing good money after bad?"

I read Cool Cleveland and very much like what you write. I do not like your question, however. To suggest that we might be throwing good money after bad may be a provocative idea to attract reader responses (you got my reaction), but the question does not make common sense.

For the first 175 years in this country and for centuries in other countries around the world, wise use of resources, including re-use of homes and building has been a cultural value, not just good environmental stewardship.

A question such as the one you raise can only be asked in a throw-away society. The answer is not the issue, it is the question. If you were to walk in any of these older buildings and see the beauty you would realize the treasures that we have. If someone thinks that modern society builds better smarter buildings, they should think again. The smart thing is to find ways to use what we have.''

from Cool Cleveland reader Lee A. Chilcote


``Congratulations on publishing The Cleveland Restoration Society's Historic Schools Feasibility Study. One of Cleveland's great strengths is its phenomenal resource of historic buildings and structures, including numerous school buildings. Anything we can do as a community to capitalize on and publicize this resource is a positive gain.

Unfortuneately, this resource is not fully appreciated by the Cleveland Municipal School District and the Ohio School Facilities Commission. Restored and renovated school buildings can meet and even exceed the standards required for producing a quality teaching and learning environment. This has been documented by enumerable case studies and examples of restored/renovated historic school buildings throughout the United States.

Indeed, if we desire to be a 'COOL' and progressive community, restored and renovated schools must be part of the formula by which we are judged.''

from Cool Cleveland reader William E. Samstag, Architect

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NEWS ARTICLE from The Chronicle-Telegram, 7-7-06, by Joe Medici

[Relief from the SR 83 dogleg after 36 years]

``AVON -- Frustrated drivers will get a bit of relief next year when a new extension is finished on State Route 83, alleviating the heavy traffic congestion at the Chester Road intersection.

City Council voted unanimously Wednesday [7-5-06] to contract with Solon-based Precision Engineering and Construction to build the extension, Mayor James Smith said. The project will cost $1.19 million and is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2006 ...

The extension will extend the existing stretch of [the relocated] Route 83 an additional 1,000 feet north, where it will turn right and meet up with Center Road, ... just south of Schneider Court ...

The extension is the first step of a long-term project to extend [the relocated] Route 83 all the way into Avon Lake, Smith said ...''

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NEWS ARTICLE from The Plain Dealer, 7-26-06, by Christopher Jensen, Plain Dealer Auto Editor

[Negative recommendation on Firment expansion to Avon]

``Automakers hoping to help a dealer relocate, possibly closer to another dealer selling the same vehicles, must focus more on local conditions to help justify the move, according to a decision by a hearing examiner for the Motor Vehicle Dealers Board of Ohio.

The examiner rejected efforts by Joe Firment Chevrolet to relocate from 4500 Grove Ave. in Lorain to Moore Road near Interstate 90 in Avon.

General Motors Corp. favored the move, which had been protested by Halleen Chevrolet, 27932 Lorain Ave. in North Olmsted. Halleen contended Firment's move would put it only seven miles away and hurt business.

The dealers board can accept or reject the finding, which was issued late last week. The board is likely to consider the case this summer.

In arguing in favor of Firment's move, GM relied too much on statewide information to determine sales success, examiner Scot Stevenson of Akron found.

Such decisions must take into account local conditions that could affect business, such as the presence of many Ford workers who would be unlikely to purchase a Chevrolet, Stevenson wrote.

Automakers have typically been using statewide statistics in such cases, but this says "the better measuring stick . . . is the local standard," said Christopher DeVito, the Cleveland lawyer who represented Halleen.

GM not only failed to consider local factors but it also did not prove that Firment's move was necessary to best serve consumers, Stevenson wrote. In addition, Halleen would have been harmed, Stevenson concluded.

The decision gives dealers more protection from automakers hoping to move competitors closer, said DeVito.

Firment could not be reached late yesterday for comment.

To reach this Plain Dealer reporter: cjensen@plaind.com


NEWS ARTICLE from The Morining Journal, 7-27-06, by ALEX M. PARKER, Morning Journal Writer

``Firment's plan for Avon dealership faces roadblock from rival Halleen

LORAIN -- Joe Firment, who has long been looking to relocate his General Motors dealership from Lorain to Avon, might have to look elsewhere now.

An examiner with the Motor Vehicle Dealers Board of Ohio, a division of the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles, advised the board not to approve Firment's request to move Joe Firment Chevrolet. The stated reason was it would conflict with the sales by Halleen Chevrolet, which opposed the move.

The examiner, attorney Scot Stevenson, said the area has a limited supply of Chevrolet buyers and wouldn't need another dealership. Halleen Chevrolet, located in North Olmsted, is within 10 miles and can protest the expansion, according to Ohio law.

The board has 30 days to consider the examiner's report and then vote to approve or deny the proposed relocation. Firment Chevrolet or General Motors Co., which supported the move, could appeal the decision.

''We thought it would be a good opportunity to grow our business,'' said Jim Firment, son of the dealership's owner. ''We've been very successful (in Lorain) for 25 years.''

Firment said his family wasn't planning on vacating the Lorain dealership, located at 4500 Grove Ave.; they just have been looking to expand the dealership for five years.

''We've had so much success here, we're ready to expand,'' said Firment. ''If we can't do it somewhere close by, we'll have to look further.''

He said the dealership would wait to see if General Motors wants to appeal the decision before acting.

Stevenson claimed in his report that the loyalty for Ford vehicles in the area, especially near Ford's Ohio Assembly Plant in Avon Lake, limits the number of customers looking to buy Chevrolets.

He stated there was not ''good cause'' for two Chevrolet dealers to be within 10 miles of one another.

Firment disagreed with the findings.

''The population can easily support that many Chevrolet dealerships,'' said Firment. He noted Stevenson used local statistics rather than state data for his findings -- unusual for such a decision, Firment said.''

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NEWS ARTICLE from The Morning Journal, 8-1-06, By BETH STALLINGS, Morning Journal Staff

``Henkel picks Avon for expansion

AVON -- Henkel Consumer Adhesives Inc. announced yesterday its headquarters in Avon will be the site of a 229,000-square-foot warehouse expansion that will create more jobs at the city's leading employer.

The adhesive company expects the expansion will result in about 40 new jobs during the next five years, adding to the current 478-employee roster, spokeswoman Heather Sefcik said yesterday.

Avon Mayor Jim Smith said the city's planning commission approved the build more than a year ago, and officials have been patiently waiting to hear the good news ...

Henkel chose Avon from a short list of other distribution centers in which they had considered expanding. The list included Mentor, the former headquarters of Ohio Sealants Inc., which Henkel purchased last year [2005], Allentown, Pa., and Edwardsville, Ill.

''I think it's very convenient for us to stay in Avon where our headquarters are,'' Sefcik said, adding the property in Avon provided the right amount of room to expand ...

The company expects to break ground August 8 [2006]. Once completed in early 2007, the facility at 32150 Just Imagine Drive [Chester Road] will total 568,000 square feet.

Sefcik declined to say how much the expansion will cost. She said the design and building will most likely be handled by Janotta & Herner Inc. of Monroeville.

An international company, Henkel manufactures sealants, tapes, glues and household products. It owns North American labels such as Duck, Loctite, PL, Pro-Series and Polyseamseal.

The Just Imagine Drive headquarters mostly covers sales, marketing, packaging and logistics for Henkel. The company has made a home in Avon for the past 12 years, according to Smith, and has always been willing to chip in when money in the city was tight.

Smith recalled nearly seven years ago when funds were low to complete construction on Avon High School. He said Henkel donated $75,000 to help complete the Avon High School gymnasium ...''

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NEWS ARTICLE from The Press, 8-16-06, by Rebecca Turman

``AVON -- "Emergency" seemed to be the word of the evening at the Avon City Council's meeting August 14 [2006]. Three-rule-readings were suspended in several instances and ordinances were passed because of "declared emergencies." The moves were made in part to ensure that several items would make it to the Lorain County Board of Elections by the August 24 deadline.

The charter amendment for rezoning properties south of I-90 was unanimously passed by council and will be on the ballot in November. The issue had been discussed at several legal committee meetings the past couple months, and council members, members of the Avon Citizens Committee and other residents of Avon reached a common ground to come up with the final product.

"This does accurately reflect the lengthy conversations we've had -- the committee and citizens," Councilman Dan Urban said. "I think we have something the board of elections may actually approve."

Councilman Bryan Jensen said he had received several calls from concerned residents trying to lobby him to vote against sending the amendment to the ballot. "This is giving the public the opportunity to decide if this (rezoning amendment) is what they want," Jensen said.

"I'm in favor of the charter amendment," Mayor Jim Smith said. " I think people want to feel secure in the zoning around them. It gives people a lot of confidence in the money they are investing in their homes."

The charter amendment states that "Any ordinance passed by City Council rezoning any property zoned residential that is south of I-90 to a classification other than residential shall not be deemed effective until passed by an affirmative vote of a majority by the electors voting thereon at a regularly scheduled election."

The following exemptions apply: "Property consisting of 5 acres or less, south of I-90 but north of Detroit Road and contiguous (Urban defined contiguous as those actually touching one another, not across the street) only to property that is already zoned commercial as of the effective date of the amendment." Other properties exempt from this amendment include property surrounding the new I-90 intersection to be built, property currently in litigation (Romes case) and several other areas, which will be shown on a map at the election in November ...

Tim Bresnahan, co-founder of the ACC, echoed the thoughts of the council members and the approval of the charter amendment. "The ACC 2006 fully supports the action of City Council this evening," Bresnahan said. "We encourage all Avon voters to support this amendment at the November [2006] election."''


NEWS ARTICLE from The Morning Journal, 8-15-06, By MEGAN KING, Morning Journal Writer

``Avon City Council lets voters have say on zoning

AVON - Avon voters will now have a say in whether they will have a say in the city's future growth and development. City Council last night approved an amendment to the city's charter that would put some rezoning requests to a public vote before they can be approved.

The charter amendment will go to voters this November [2006]. If passed, rezoning requests of property south of Interstate 90 to any classification other than residential will require a majority vote in an election.

The amendment has a few exceptions, including property currently under litigation between the city and Lake Pointe Construction, property of five acres or less south of I-90 but north of Detroit Road and next to property that is already zoned commercial, and a few other properties ...

Tim Bresnahan of the Avon Citizens Council, a group that has been pushing for the amendment, said it is important to allow citizens a chance to vote on the rezoning requests. "We're excited and relieved," Bresnahan said of the amendment's passage, noting that council members had worked together with the citizen group to draft the legislation. Bresnahan said a survey conducted by his organization showed the amendment was popular among Avon citizens and that 85 percent of the citizens polled supported the measure.


NEWS ARTICLE from The Sun, 8-10-2006 By Mary Davies, Staff Writer

``AVON - Avon Citizens Committee 2006 leaders spent Tuesday reviewing a potential charter amendment restricting residential property rezonings. City Council unveiled the amendment language Monday night, and the political action committee encouraged officials to put more in writing.

"Our position, and probably that of (council's) legal committee, is that there's probably going to be some tweaking needed to be done by the Charter Review Commission," said Tim Bresnahan, and ACC co-founder and spokesman for the committee, which seeks to inform residents about development issues in Avon.

Officials are almost out of time to revise a ballot issue. The Lorain County election board's requires cities to submit November ballot items by August 24 [2006]. Without a special meeting, council members must approve an ordinance to place a charter amendment on the Nov. 7th ballot at their regular meeting.

Council's three legal committee members met with ACC leaders twice in July to obtain input for a proposed charter amendment. ACC supporters have said they will submit a charter amendment to voters in November if council doesn't ...

Bresnahan said that while council's proposal "captures the spirit and intent" of protecting residential neighborhoods, ACC leaders on Tuesday were unsure whether certain provisions go far enough. The proposed amendment would require council to submit to voters any requests to rezone residential property more than five acres south of Interstate 90 to any other zoning classification. If council rejects a zoning change, voters wouldn't decide the issue unless the property's owner seeks a referendum.

ACC leaders are unsure about a provision allowing non-voter approved zoning change requests of less than five acres on property contiguous to noncommercial land south of I-90 but north of Detroit Road. Bresnahan said ACC leaders might ask council to include in the proposed charter change tighter provisions to prevent commercial spread between I-90 and Detroit, but the issue might be left to a charter review commission which will begin meeting next year.

Also not protected by the proposed charter change are several areas Mayor Jim Smith said he thinks don't need [it]. They include property at the future Interstate 90/Nagel Road interchange, the southeast corner of state Routes 83 and 254 now in litigation and several small parcels near state Route 611.

Council President Clinton Pelfrey said previously that he expects council to place the proposed charter amendment on the November ballot. "I am concerned about being too restrictive, but we don't want to see further commercial development in some areas," Pelfrey said.''

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NEWS ARTICLE from The Morning Journal, 12-5-06, MEGAN KING, Morning Journal Writer

``Avon Lake to be new home for Danco Metal

AVON LAKE -- Westlake-based Danco Metal Products, which had discussed relocating its facility and nearly 50 employees to Avon this summer, is now planning to move to Avon Lake.

The sheet metal fabricating company, which employs 48 workers and is looking to add about 25 more, is in the process of purchasing property on Moore Road in Avon Lake, according to Georgia Danielson, the company's chief financial officer ...

The company had planned to move to Avon, but the deal for the land it had hoped to purchase fell through, Danielson said.

Danielson praised Mayor Jim Smith and the people of Avon for their hard work in trying to bring the company there.

Smith said he is glad the company plans to stay in the area even if it does not choose Avon.

''We did everything we could, and if they choose Avon Lake, that's fine, too,'' Smith said. ''I think it's really great that they'd stay in the area.''

In addition to eyeing the Avon Commerce Parkway location, the company had considered moving to a Charleston, S.C., facility.

Danielson said the company has outgrown its Westlake facility, and it is looking forward to relocating to Lorain County, as the Danielsons are from North Ridgeville.

''We're Lorain County people ourselves, personally,'' Danielson said. ''We're trying to move just as soon as we can.''

Danielson said the company will add about 25 jobs, including positions for engineers, machinists and other staff. They plan to begin construction on the 77,000 square-foot factory in January and open in June ...

The fourth-generation family business is ''filled to the gills'' in its current facility and is looking forward to the expansion.

''We'll be making more sheet metal fabrications with more technology,'' Danielson said. ''We'll just be doing more of the same, but we're going to wind up doing a lot more assembly than we do now.''''


NEWS ARTICLE from The Morining Journal, 7-28-06, by ALEX M. PARKER, Morning Journal Writer

``Next step for Danco may be Avon

ELYRIA -- Danco, a sheet metal producer in Westlake, is one step closer to relocating and expanding into Avon.

Yesterday, Lorain County commissioners approved a $3 million tax-exempt bond for Danco, as part of a plan for it to move its facility to the Avon Commerce Parkway.

The bond will make it easier for Danco to set up shop in Lorain County and eventually create 30 new jobs to go with the 48 employees it has now.

Georgia Danielson, chief financial officer of the company, said if the plan is finalized, Danco would be moving into the Avon facilities in February 2007 ...

Danco makes sheet metal for telecommunications, automotive, medical and other high-tech products. It is relocating to expand to accommodate a new customer seeking a larger line of products, Danielson said.

Over time, the expansion will increase Danco's work force by 30 jobs, including jobs in operations, administration and production, she said.

''We're highly precise. That's our forte,'' said Danielson. ''There will be a lot of skilled jobs. We have machining capabilities. We punch, we leather, we weld, we spot-weld.''

While it hasn't finalized a deal to move into Avon, the approval of the bond makes it easier to move ahead with the project, she said.

Avon Mayor Jim Smith said it would be a great addition to Avon's Commerce Parkway, which is still under construction. He noted the company's products are used to make medical supplies, such as tables used in hospitals or the chambers needed for MRIs.

''It's nice to get some companies that are manufacturing companies that aren't tied to the auto industry as the sole person they sell to,'' said Smith. Smith, who worked at the plant when he was in high school, emphasized its close-knit worker atmosphere and its culture as a family owned and operated company.

It was founded by George Danielson in 1940, and has been run by the Danielson family since. She and her husband are grooming their son, Bracken Danielson, to run the company in the future, she said. Georgia and Bill Danielson live in North Ridgeville and their son lives in Avon Lake.

''Welcome home,'' said Commissioner Lori Kokoski after voting to approve the bond.

''This is going to be a great development for Lorain County,'' added Commissioner Ted Kalo.''

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