President Jack Smith opened the March 2, 2005, meeting of the Avon Historical Society at 7:00 p.m. at The Old Town Hall with 24 members and guests present.
As the first order of business he asked the secretary to read the minutes of the previous meeting of February 2, 2005. Following the reading of the minutes the president asked if there were any additions or corrections to the minutes as read. There being none, a motion to approve the minutes was made by Matt Smith, seconded by Bob Gates and by voice vote unanimously approved.
Jack then asked for the treasurer's report and in the absence of treasurer, Jean Fisher reported that as of this evening there is a balance of $1,101.83 in the checking account. Our money market account currently has a balance of $6,022.91. The president asked the members if there were any outstanding bills to present to the treasurer this evening and there were none.
Jack then brought up the issue of this year's Duct Tape Festival and stated that we needed to make some decisions shortly regarding the amount of our participation for this year's festival. First of all, do we want to rent a booth this year, secondly, do we want to participate in the parade this year to a greater degree with a decorated float of our own, and thirdly shall we again open up the town hall and show videos after the parade and sell refreshments again.
He was open to suggestions and discussion from the floor and it was stated that the fee for participation in the parade is $25.00 but you also receive a case of duck tape to decorate your float, and more tape if requested. Last year there was a theme and we will need to find out what this year's theme will be. Ralph White who was kind enough to drive his truck in the parade for us last year stated that the truck is presently for sale, but he assured us that if it should sell before the parade, that he would find another truck for us to use. He reminded the members that he still has the magnetic signs in his possession if anyone should ever need to borrow them.
The president then entertained a motion from Carla Wible to participate in the parade and pay the $25.00 entrance fee, which motion was seconded by JoAnn Albert and by voice vote unanimously approved. It was further decided that Toni Barnhart will complete the form necessary to participate in the parade. George Bliss stated also that he may also be available to drive his tractor for us if need be. Susie Cory explained that the $25.00 fee for the parade is to eligible for prizes. There is no charge to just participate in the parade.
The President then asked Ralph White for a report on the Detroit Road Ohio Scenic By-Way issue and Ralph reported that he had been in contact with state officials and that he was awaiting receipt of an application. He stated further that he had been informed that Steve McQuillan has actually started the process already. Jack then suggested that perhaps Ralph, Joe Richvalsky and Steve McQuillan could set up a meeting to put our heads together on the progress of the application, etc.
It is our understanding that the original application would be from Cleveland to Sheffield Village. Also it was discussed that perhaps the newly formed Sheffield Village Historical Society would be interested in being a part of this venture. Tom Hoerrle who was present from that club will speak to Ed Herdendorf and discuss their participation.
Ralph stated further that Paul Stanley told him that we need to get the cooperation from our local government meaning the mayor and council so that they are on board with our plan. It's a doable project as long as we get the state to go along with it.
The President further stated that this venture will help to keep more commercial and multi-family zoning on Detroit Road to a minimum. One of the reasons our victory with the Charter Amendment was so important was to keep the number of lanes on Detroit Road to 3 which includes a turn lane. By preserving Detroit Road we are in essence preserving Avon. There next followed a discussion on possible suggestions on what the city could be doing to direct traffic away from Detroit Road.
The President then opened a discussion on the recent Planning Commission Meeting held on Wednesday, February 16th, 2005, which was attended by many of our members. At this time the owners of the Williams House presented the full horror of their suggested modifications for the Williams House to the Planning Commission.
For those of you not in attendance, Paul Burik who was to review the new design, had the new drawings in his hands a full 30 minutes before the meeting. We were counting on Paul to disqualify this thing, but he did not. Jack stated further that he was absolutely stunned at Paul's acceptance of the drawings.
Following the presentation we stood up one by one to state our objections to this horrible thing. To put closure to this issue at the meeting Jim Piazza suggested that perhaps representatives of the Avon Historical Society could get together with the developers and owners of the Williams House and city officials in one week and further discuss how we can work through this to make it acceptable to everyone.
However, the owners are taking a very hard line and have stated that they were not going to change anything in their proposal. We have discussed possibilities with this group before and at first things looked promising that we could work together, but everything has gone down hill from there. Regarding our proposal that the building be moved to another site, we had 3 offers, Ron Larson, John Aunspaw and Lois Shinko - they first started to agree to this proposal, and now have reneged on moving the house.
All in all it is a disaster. Jack then closed with the statement that it was his own feeling that the battle has just begun. We can't back down on this one. We can't keep rolling over for these developers because matters will just keep getting worse and worse, and we must take a stand. There is no reason for the Williams House to be destroyed.
Here is the real issue we can fight. They need a variance on the drive through. The ordinance dictates that they need 15 spaces, and they allowed for only 4 spaces. This will be brought before the Planning Commission at the meeting on March 16th. We must make sure that it doesn't get approved. We have to make our point that this is a safety concern and as Chuck Huene pointed out at the last Planning Commission meeting, this is a violation of the master plan ordinance. It should be rejected.
Once again we need to appear and stand up and ask the Planning Commission members to vote "no" on the destruction of the Williams House and defend what the master plan ordinance states and make the developers abide by the law. Jack then listed the names and telephone numbers of the Planning Commission members and encouraged everyone to call them and ask them to vote NO! We need to let them know how strongly we feel about this.
Next a discussion was had regarding obtaining plaques to be displayed on historical homes in Avon which would help in our desire to save these homes. Dr. Fischer recommended a company in Pennsylvania who makes these plaques. It was also suggested we could ask council for the money to pay for these plaques and then get the people to display them on their homes. The projected cost is approximately $50.00 apiece.
In view of the length of tonight's meeting already, there being no new business that had to be addressed this evening, the President announced that at our next meeting to be held on April 6, 2005, our speaker would be Al Doane who will present a program about the "Lorain Tornado of 1924".
There being no further business to present at the meeting the president entertained a motion from George Bliss to adjourn the meeting which motion was seconded by Carla Wible and by voice vote unanimously approved.
An interesting program was then presented by John Bender on Historic Boston and the Democratic Convention.
Respectfully submitted, Nancy McGhee, Secretary
AVON HISTORICAL SOCIETY AGENDA
April 6, 2005
Reading of minutes of meeting of March 2, 2005. Motion to approve and second.
Any outstanding bills to present.
A. Duct Tape Festival participation, Toni Barnhart, Theresa Szippl
B. Report from the Landmarks Preservation Commission, Bob Gates
C. Detroit Rd. Scenic Byway, Ralph White
D. Re-cap of Planning Commission meeting on the Williams House, Jack Smith
A. Suggestions for Stone Eagle Farm, Jack Smith
B. Spring Celebration on 4-23 (11 am - 5 pm) and 4-24-05 (12 noon - 5 pm)
C. On Wednesday, 5-4-05, Betty Lou Higgins will present Favorite Great Lakes Stories. The Avon Historical Society will tour Cleveland's Lakeview Cemetary on Sunday, 6-12-04. Details for this trip will follow. For more information, contact Dr. Del Fischer at 934-6106
Motion to Adjourn and Second
Jean Fischer, Program Chairman, will introduce Al Doane who will give a slide presentation on the "Lorain Tornado of 1924".