West Side News & Notes
Proposal to build new McDonald’s in Fairlawn tabled
FAIRLAWN — A request to build a McDonald’s restaurant at West Market Street and Shiawassee Avenue was tabled at the Nov. 8 Fairlawn Planning Commission meeting following concerns voiced by local residents.
Fairlawn Zoning, Housing and Residential Building Commissioner Chris Randles said the plans call for a 4,500-square-foot restaurant at the site of the former Gulf and Sunoco gas station “and the building behind it. There’s an existing office building there on Shiawassee.”
The McDonald’s Corp. proposal calls for a traditional, free-standing restaurant with a drive-through.
According to Randles, all the underground fuel storage tanks have been removed.
“They were removed according to state regulations,” he stated.
Randles confirmed McDonald’s plans to purchase three parcels — 2919 W. Market St., 2901 W. Market St. and 30 Shiawassee Ave.
“They’re purchasing two parcels and a portion of the Cavalier Cleaners parcel,” he said.
The property purchase has not been finalized.
Randles said no rezoning is required, but the proposal still must go through various approvals from the city.
During the Nov. 8 Planning Commission meeting, a number of residents voiced their concerns regarding the effect a McDonald’s restaurant at that location would have on the neighborhood.
“They said they were concerned about traffic, particularly at the intersection,” Randles said. “They were concerned about cars speeding through their neighborhood, and they were concerned about trash from people going through the drive-through.”
After hearing the concerns, representatives from McDonald’s asked the Planning Commission to table the proposal, he said.
“They’ve asked to table their request, and they may or may not come back,” Randles said. “We don’t know yet.”
While several residents were not happy with the vote being tabled, Randles said the decision was taken out of the Planning Commission’s hands.
“The proponent requested their proposal be tabled,” he said. “Therefore, [the Planning Commission] conferred with the city law director, and they could not do a vote, because it was tabled by the proponent.”
A McDonald’s representative is next slated to appear before the Board of Zoning and Appeals (BZA) to discuss a number of variances on the lots, and that meeting could happen as soon as tonight, Nov. 15, at 6:30 p.m. in Council chambers. However, Randles added that “there is a chance they are going to table their BZA request also.”
The next Planning Commission meeting is scheduled for Dec. 13 at 5:30 p.m. at Fairlawn City Hall, 3487 S. Smith Road.
City, Hull hosting ribbon-cutting ceremony for renewable energy project
MERRIMAN VALLEY — The city of Akron and Hull & Associates Inc. will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony to recognize a new waste-to-energy project Nov. 21 from 10:30 to 11 a.m. at 2460 Akron-Peninsula Road.
The project allows for the recovery of landfill gas from the former Hardy Road Landfill, which was closed in 2002, and utilization of the gas to produce electricity for the adjacent city-owned wastewater treatment plant.
The project is designed to produce approximately 7,000 megawatt hours of electricity annually for the wastewater treatment plant, or enough to power about 600 to 700 homes. The electricity generated from the landfill gas will be able to supply about 30 percent of the wastewater plant’s annual electric requirements, according to city of Akron officials.
During the ceremony, the recently installed electrical generation and distribution equipment will be demonstrated.
To attend the ribbon-cutting, contact Teresa Crego at firstname.lastname@example.org or 614-793-8777 by Nov. 19.
Metro Parks offers firewood by permit
SUMMIT COUNTY — Metro Parks, Serving Summit County officials announced last week that the destructive emerald ash borer beetle does have one benefit: firewood.
The invasive insect is forcing Metro Parks crews to cut ash trees, and the park district soon will have more wood than it could ever burn in its pavilions, shelters and winter sports areas, according to district officials.
Mike Johnson, chief of natural resources, said thousands of ash trees will be coming down in the next few years. Some are already dead or dying; others will be removed preemptively in areas near trails, parking lots and buildings.
“People will begin to see a significant change in our wooded areas,” Johnson said. “It’s very unfortunate.”
Summit County residents may submit a special-use permit to remove firewood from some of the Metro Parks under the following conditions:
• Only wood that has been cut, stacked and placed near a Metro Parks parking lot or parkway by park district employees may be removed. No wood may be taken from forests, trails or natural areas.
• Persons removing firewood must be Summit County residents and at least 18 years old.
• Stacked firewood is intended only for personal use and may not be sold or used for any commercial purposes.
• Only personal vehicles may be used to collect firewood. Vehicles must remain within parking lots or mowed berms adjacent to roads and parkways.
• No firewood may be removed from Summit County. Moving firewood across county lines may spread the emerald ash borer.
• Persons removing stacked firewood are responsible for any damage that may occur to park property.
• The use of personal equipment such as chainsaws or other tools is strictly prohibited.
To download a permit, visit www.summitmetroparks.org and click on “Firewood” under the “Inside Metro Parks” drop-down menu.
For more information, call 330-867-5511.
Scouts team with Goodwill in annual collection day
GREATER AKRON — Continuing a long-held local tradition, area Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts collected more than 13,000 bags of clothing for Goodwill Industries in its annual Goodwill-Good Turn Day Nov. 3.
Scouts collect the useable clothing all year long, then deliver it to Goodwill locations throughout Summit, Medina, Portage and northern Wayne counties on one day.
“We know that, at this time of year, Goodwill can really use this big influx of items, and we’re glad we can help,” said Mike Jones, Great Trail Council Scout Executive.
Typically, donations of clothing and other items sought after by Goodwill are slow in the fall of the year, according to Scouts officials. The annual November collection, which also involves the Girl Scouts of the U.S.A., helps provide saleable items and needed work opportunities for Goodwill clients.
The partnership between Goodwill Industries and the Boy Scouts of America in the Greater Akron area began in the 1970s and has provided employment opportunities and allowed the Scouts to live their Scout Oath and Law.
“It really is a win-win for Goodwill and for the Boy Scouts of America,” Jones said. “Goodwill gets the clothing, which provides jobs and resale items inexpensively, and our kids are able to make a real, noticeable difference in our communities.”
Goodwill-Good Turn Day in 2013 will take place Nov. 2.
Churches, schools partner for speaker series
WEST AKRON — Westminster Presbyterian Church, Spring Garden Waldorf School, Faith Lutheran Church, The Shaw Jewish Community Center and St. Paul’s Episcopal Church have partnered to present a speaker series starting this fall called Nurturing the Next Generation.
The first session in the series — The Importance of Play in the Development of Children — will be presented by Joshua Magleby Nov. 18 at the Westminster Presbyterian Church, 1250 W. Exchange St.
Child care will be provided for all the events in the series, and all lectures will begin at 6 p.m.
Other sessions will include:
• Jan. 20: “Anger Management in Children and Adolescents,” with Magleby;
• Feb. 17: “Teen Dating Violence Prevention,” with Chelsea Cunningham, of Akron Children’s Hospital; and
• April 21: “The Invisible Woman: Exploring the History, Literature and Experience of Disability and Motherhood,” with Kelley Shinn, of The University of Akron.
For more information, contact Amy Starr Redwine at email@example.com or 330-836-2226 or Amy Hecky at 330-666-0574 or admissions @sgws.org.
CVNP seeking Trailblazers
PENINSULA — The National Park Service is seeking volunteers to be part of the hike, bike, ski and horse patrol group called Trailblazers at Cuyahoga Valley National Park (CVNP).
Trailblazers assist interpretive and protection rangers by providing information, basic first aid and bike maintenance to visitors on the multi-use Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail and more than 100 miles of hiking trails in CVNP.
Candidates must be available for a 27-hour initial training and 40-hour annual time commitment and be willing to provide first aid and CPR. The training includes park orientation, first aid and CPR, radio communication and orientation sessions with experienced Trailblazers. The training requirements need to be completed between February and April 2013.
An informational meeting will take place Dec. 13 at 7 p.m. at Happy Days Lodge, 500 W. Streetsboro Road. Registration is not needed to attend.
Volunteer applications are being accepted until Jan. 7. Apply online at www.nps.gov/cuva/supportyourpark. For more information, contact vol firstname.lastname@example.org or 330-657-2299.
Commission invites public comment on linking land use, Ohio’s waters
SANDUSKY — The Ohio Lake Erie Commission (OLEC) has announced the draft document “Linking Land Use and Ohio’s Waters: Best Local Land Use Practices” is now available for public comment.
This document contains recommendations and resources for local governments wishing to implement better design and planning practices to enhance environmental quality, economic prosperity and quality of life. OLEC has proposed to adopt the document at its December meeting.
The “Linking Land Use and Ohio’s Waters: Best Local Land Use Practices” document is available for review on the Ohio Balanced Growth Program website at balanced growth.ohio.gov.
The public comment period will run until noon Dec. 12. Written comments should be sent to the attention of Sandra Kosek-Sills, OLEC, 111 E. Shoreline Drive.
Interested parties are invited to attend the next OLEC meeting, which will take place Dec. 12 at the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency’s central office, located at 50 W. Town St., Suite 700, in Columbus, in the Center for Excellence from 10 a.m. to noon. A portion of every OLEC meeting is set aside for public comment.
To facilitate scheduling of oral comments, people intending to speak at the meeting should notify OLEC by calling 419-621-2040 or emailing lakeeriecommission@lake erie.ohio.gov.
Questions regarding this document should be directed to Kosek-Sills, who can be reached at 419-357-2775 or email@example.com.
Sean Gerski and Stephanie Kist contributed to these reports.
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