Minutes of the Avon Historical Society, 4-4-12

  • 5-3-12: Defend Detroit Road

    President Jack Smith called the April 4, 2012, meeting of the Avon Historical Society to order at 7 p.m. There were about 25 members and guests present.

    The minutes were approved as read with Jim Szippl making the motion and Ralph White seconding.

    Christine White said that there was a balance of $5390.68 in the checking account.

    Landmark Preservation Commissioner Ralph White said that the commission is studying the idea of sending letters to owners of homes and/or businesses and structures on the preservation list and encouraging them to maintain their home in a proper fashion and thanking those who do keep up the maintenance. The group is still working on the paper work to have Avon declared a Certified Local Government.

    Trustee Jim Szippl said he is accepting nominations for officers for the Society. He has secured two names to be included in next month's slate of officers. Voting will be in May.

    Regarding the railing around the basement stairwell, Jim said he and Joe Richvalsky are still researching how to secure the stairs with a gate at the top of the metal railing the city installed in response to a fall of a person after the February meeting. A decorative screening is also being considered.

    Stan Hawryluk said there is a field trip for the Society next July 8. The group will be carpooling to Lyme Village near Bellview. The village consists of a mansion and a blacksmith shop among other things. The cost is $8 or $9 ($1 senior discount). Details will follow.

    Jack reported on the upcoming meetings of the Charter Review Commission. He said there was a movement afoot to change the status of Detroit Road from the Charter ensured three lanes to five lanes. And there was a movement to increase commercial development south of Detroit Road.

    By way of backgtround information, he said in 2002 the city commissioned URS to study development. One of their suggestions was to increase lanes of traffic from three to five on Detroit Road from Colorado Road to the Cuyahoga line. The Planning Commission accepted the study as the official development document.

    The Charter Review Commission of 2003 proposed an amendment limiting Detroit Road to three lanes except at arterial roads where Detroit could be five or more lanes. The people voted and it became a part of the charter.

    In 2006 another group, the ACC, proposed a charter amendment requiring a vote of the people to change zoning for commercial development south of Detroit Rd.. That, too, became law.

    Because Jack thinks that allowing five lane would "destroy the community," he is seeking support to question the new proposals coming before the Charter Review Commission at 7:30 May 3 at City Hall. Joe Richvalsky made a motion to support a defense of Detroit Road. Paul Burik seconded. The motion passed.

    Joe said when people come to Avon they don't drive through the allotments, they drive down Detroit Road, the face of Avon. He said many of the 230 homes listed on the Landmark Preservation List exist along Detroit. If it becomes five lanes those homes would no longer be conducive to being residences; thus encouraging rezoning to commercial.

    Paul said that he is a member of the French Creek Development Association which is partly responsible for the attractiveness of the French Creek District running between the bridge on Detroit west of Colorado and the area just east of SR 83. He, too, believes widening Detroit would be detrimental to the business and civic areas of French Creek.

    George Bliss said to facilitate local traffic, Chester Road should be widened to five lanes.

    Jean Fischer said people don't know what is going on. She suggested a letter writing campaign to the residents on Detroit Road who will be affected.

    JoAnne Easterday suggested that The Press and The Sun newspapers, plus the computer generated Avon Patch should be contacted to fill in the reporters on the suspected outcome of the proposed changes.

    In other matters, Jean Fischer said she is still working on the May program. It will include more information about the Civil War and the Underground Railroad. The Civil War began in 1861, 150 years ago.

    The meeting was adjourned at 7:24 with Susie Cory making the motion and Carol Smith seconding.

    Jean introduced the speaker Matt Weisman from the Black River Historical Society and his topic, "Quincy A. Gilmore, Lorain County's Forgotten Civil War General."

    Respectfully submitted, JoAnne Easterday


    Janet Bird from the Lorain County Historical Society will present "Quilts of the Underground Railroad." at the meeting of the Avon Historical Society at 7 pm on Wednesday, 5-2-12, at the Old Town Hall of 1871, southeast corner of Detroit and Stoney Ridge. For more information, contact Jean Fischer at 934-6106 or Stan Hawryluk at 934-0224.



    I. Reading of the minutes of the meeting of April 4, 2012

    II. Treasurer's Report

    A. Any outstanding bills to present.

    III. Old Business

    A. Landmarks Preservation Commission report, Ralph White

    B. Election, Jim Szippl

    C. Field trip to Lyme Village on 7-8-12, Stan Hawryluk

    D. Defend Detroit Road, Jack Smith


    The current Charter Review Commission is discucssing the 2003 Detroit Road Preservation Amendment and the 2006 Commercial Zoning Control Amendment on 5-3-12 at 7:30 pm in Council Chambers at Avon City Hall, 36080 Chester Road.

    See more below.

    E. __________________________________________

    IV. New Business

    A. _________________________________________

    B. __________________________________________

    V. Motion to Adjourn and Second

    Jean Fischer will introduce Janet Bird from the Lorain County Historical Society who will present "Quilts of the Underground Railroad."


    Parking for meetings of the Avon Historical Society:

    On the east side of the Old Town Hall,

    Across Detroit Rd. at Nemo's Restaurant (park close to Colorado),

    Across Colorado Avenue (SR 611) behind Blue Chip,

    On the east side of Buck's Hardware on Church Street,

    Across Stoney Ridge at Lois Shinko's Country Store parking lot (just south of the Gazebo).

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    Chairman, Paul Miklovich, called the meeting to order at 7:38 p.m.


    PRESENT: Mary Berges; Tom Brenner; Greg Dziak; Michael Elwood; Kristine Guzik; Scott Mitchell; Frank Root, Jr.; Vice Chairman, Lee Belardo; Chairman, Paul Miklovich; Alternate A, Gene Rouse; Alternate B, Marcel Mylen; Law Director, John Gasior; Secretary to the Commission, Ellen Young ...


    Mr. Root stated that ... this subject didn't belong in the City's Charter ...

    [Quality of life issues clearly can be addressed in a city charter -- zoning is certainly a quality of life issue -- very few people would be happy with a slaughter house next to their home. So a Planning Commission is created in a city charter.

    Parks and recreation is a quality of life issue.

    The Landmarks Preservation Commission is a quality of life issue.

    Oberlin mandated a hospital in its charter.

    The appearance of Detroit Rd. is a quality of life issue for Avon. Making Detroit Rd. suitable only for apartment and commercial development would degrade the quality of life in Avon, forever losing our small-town atmosphere and increasing Avon's build-out population.]

    Ms. Young added that ... voting for minimum lot size, to restrict commercial zoning south of I-90 and to keep Detroit Road from being widened is a knee-jerk reaction on the part of voters who want to keep the City more rural and who don't want to see Detroit Road become as commercially crowded as it is east and west of the City ...

    Mr. Rouse pointed out that ... Mr. Piazza said at the previous meeting that when the residents get tired of not being able to move throughout the City ... Mr. Rouse suggested that we are at that point now; particularly at Christmas time. He doesn't think waiting for this to be a problem is proactive ...

    [A Master Thoroughfare Plan was presented by URS to the Planning Commission on June 12, 2002. URS recommended that Avon put five lanes of pavement on Detroit Rd. and five lanes of pavement on Colorado Road. The Planning Commission accepted this recommendation, making it Avon's official policy.

    Removing the Detroit Road Preservation Amendment from the Charter would again make five lanes of pavement on Detroit Rd. Avon's official position; but it would not create a five lane road, since this pavement would have to be paid for. The chance of the State of Ohio paying for more pavement on Detroit Rd. is smaller than winning the powerball lottery.

    What would the real effect of removing the Detroit Road Preservation Amendment be? An argument could succeed in court, especially since the Mayfield decision by the Ohio Supreme Court, that a proposed five lanes of pavement on Detroit Road make single family residential use impossible now, invalidating the 2006 Commercial Zoning South-of-Detroit Amendment.

    It could then be argued that the entire length of Detroit Road should be zoned commercial or for apartments, now, even before another square foot of pavement is put down.

    Five proposed lanes on Detroit would make it a traffic generator, not a way to move cars around Avon -- Parma on a two-lane highway -- a cartoon version of Pearl Road. Commercial zoning would creep south on Nagel Rd. and SR-83 to the North Ridgeville line.

    If someone wants to spend taxpayer dollars on making a five-lane road across Avon, in addition to I-90, let it be Chester Rd., where there are hundreds of acres zoned commercial and industrial waiting for development.]

    A motion was made by Mr. Brenner and seconded by Mr. Elwood to add this issue [Detroit Road Preservation] to the May 3, 2012 agenda ...

    Mr. Belardo motioned that the Commission include Article VII, Section 2, (e), [2006 Single-Family Residential Zoning South-of-Detroit] rezoning ... [in] the discussion of the Detroit Road amendment ... Mr. Miklovich asked if there was a motion to add this issue for discussion that it be discussed as a separate issue from the Detroit Road amendment. Mr. Dziak seconded the amendment and the vote was unanimous in favor ...''

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