Consultant presents vision for Massillon Road
By Maria Lindsay
GREEN — Massillon Road needs more sidewalks and a bike path, landscaping and steetscaping and some design standards that will create an attractive gateway to the city of Green, according to a consultant hired a year ago to develop a vision for the development of the 4-mile stretch of road between state Route 619 and Greensburg Road.
Architect Larry Hecky presented his ideas for the Massillon Road corridor at a Sept. 5 special meeting of Green City Council’s Planning Committee.
“What you have now is strictly vehicle oriented,” Hecky told the committee. “You need to do more than just move cars.”
Hecky told the committee, which includes council members Andy Padrutt (at large), Christine Croce (Ward 4) and Jim Colopy (Ward 1), and the audience, which included Mayor Dan Croghan, Planning Director Wayne Wiethe and council members Dave France (Ward 2), Bruce Manwaring (at large) and Lynda Smole (at large), that city officials must “get proactive rather than reactive on land uses.”
“You need to put the city in the driver’s seat when facing a developer and his proposed plans,” Hecky said.
Hecky suggested city officials could do that with a definite land-use plan for Massillon Road.
He identified five separate zones along the corridor and offered suggestions on how to develop each, incorporating land uses identified in the city’s Long Range Land Use Plan. The five zones include Greensburg Village, the Greensburg Heights area, the Town Park Center area, the Interstate District and the area north of Interstate 77.
Hecky offered some development suggestions for each zone and some general ideas as well.
The general design plans include:
the construction of sidewalks, a bike path and landscaping
along the corridor; burying
overhead lines; reducing the visual clutter of signs
and billboards; reducing curb cuts; and developing design
standards that will create a more uniform look for buildings
and their positioning along the corridor.
According to Hecky, the Greensburg
Village area should follow a traditional mixed-use development
plan to maintain its historical character, and city
officials should encourage rehabilitation that
The town center area should be
developed to expand on the public and civic uses that
exist (the library and community/ senior center). The
area should offer mixed uses such
as housing, commercial and retail, and a public square.
Hecky also suggested the Interstate
District be developed as a gateway to the city.
“The area should create
a sense of arrival and identity for
the city,” Hecky said.
The area north of I-77 should
also serve as an “arrival” point as well
as allow for commercial development.
Hecky stressed the corridor should
accommodate some kind of residential
construction alongside the commercial and retail construction,
and he suggested “downtown living” could
help to create a focal point for the community.
Padrutt, who serves as the chairman
of the Planning Committee, stated Hecky’s ideas
would help city officials plan for long-term development.
“These ideas are an overview
of a plan,” Padrutt said. “There is a tremendous
amount of detail that we need to work out.”
Hecky is expected to make regular
reports on development ideas for the corridor to the
Planning Committee in the future.