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Akron City Council planning for future of Isroff Park

2/7/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Stephanie Kist

Also, Council continues with time on housing, texting ordinances

Judith Bear Isroff Park was dedicated Sept. 19, 2008, with city officials and members of the community honoring West Akron resident Bear at a special ceremony. The triangular parcel, located at West Market Street and White Pond Drive, features pathways, trees benches and a one-room schoolhouse, shown in the background above. The Preservation Alliance of Greater Akron is requesting the schoolhouse be named a historic landmark.
Photo: Ken Crisafi
Akron City Council approved two pieces of legislation Feb. 4 that look toward the further use of the Judith Bear Isroff Park in West Akron.

The park, located on the triangular parcel at West Market Street and White Pond Drive, was created to honor the memory of Judith Bear Isroff, who was the first director of Keep Akron Beautiful.

“What they have done to this area is unbelievable,” said Councilwoman Marilyn Keith (D-Ward 8), who spoke of the park’s location as a gateway to the city. “I think this is a good idea.”

Council approved the purchase of the parcel of land at 2100 W. Market St., which is adjacent to the park, for the purpose of creating future space for the park. A house on the parcel will be demolished.

Council also approved the historic designation of 2074 W. Market St., which is the one-room schoolhouse on the park site. The schoolhouse was put into service in 1870 until 1932 and was also a branch library until 1959. The Preservation Alliance of Greater Akron, formerly Progress Through Preservation, is requesting the schoolhouse be named a historic landmark.

In other business, Council’s Housing Committee met and discussed legislation introduced last week that would require property owners to provide written notice of pending building and/or housing code violations prior to the transfer or sale of property in Akron.

The legislation was introduced by Mayor Don Plusquellic and Council President Garry Moneypenny (D-Ward 10). At the committee meeting, Moneypenny said meetings were being held with local real estate officials and those who would be affected by the legislation if approved.

Moneypenny called the legislation a work in progress and said it would be tightened and fine-tuned in coming weeks.

He also took a moment to correct a misunderstanding that real estate agents would be penalized in the event a property was sold without proper notification. The legislation is intended to criminally punish violating property owners and is not directed toward agents, he clarified.

Council also took time on an ordinance that would make it a primary offense to send or read text messages while driving, as well as on the 2013 capital planning budget, currently estimated at $218 million. Those pieces of legislation will be voted on at a future meeting.

Also at the meeting, Council welcomed several public officials who were visiting from the Ukraine as part of the Open World Program.

“We are truly honored that you chose our city and our state to come to,” Moneypenny said.

The next Council meeting will be Feb. 11 at 7 p.m. in City Council Chambers on the third floor of the Akron Municipal Building, 166 S. High St. Committee meetings are set to begin at 2 p.m. that afternoon, also in Council Chambers.

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