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Green Council creates entertainment district

3/14/2013 - South Side Leader
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By Emily Chesnic

GREEN — Ohio soon will serve up liquor licenses currently lacking in Green to pour new dining and entertainment options in to the community.

At the March 12 Green City Council meeting, members unanimously agreed to establish the Massillon Road Entertainment District to obtain 15 new D-5 liquor licenses from the state.

“It is important for people to understand this process did not happen overnight,” said Councilman Chris Humphrey (at large).

His remark came after several residents in attendance said they were not properly informed of the pending legislation and wanted Council to delay voting on the matter.

On Jan. 8, Council started to debate a resolution that would create an entertainment district, and the discussion continued for about six weeks, explained Councilman Gerard Neugebauer (at large).

“We have done our due diligence,” he said.

The size of the original entertainment district had been expanded and modified to encompass 970 acres in and around the Massillon Road corridor.

Council heard both negative and positive feedback concerning the district during the regular meeting.

Humphrey said he initially had concerns about the area and the number of permits it would allow.

Since Green is not a “dry” community, Humphrey voted in favor of the district.

“Personally, I do not drink. Other people make a different choice,” he said. “I am exercising my judgment to keep the licenses in a manageable area, so it does not overwhelm the city.”

Having the district so large could keep the city from having to create a second entertainment district, thus adding 15 more liquor licenses in the future, he explained.

Resident Jack Thompson, whose property on Sunnyview Drive lies in the new entertainment district, said he took an informal survey of about eight of his neighbors, and they are not for having more liquor establishments in town.

His brother, Russ Thompson, of Burgess Drive, said he was opposed to the entertainment district coming through his neighborhood and would like to see liquor licenses revoked in the city instead of more issued.

The Thompson brothers especially expressed concern over the Green Project proposed by developer Cindy Williams.

Williams has said she wants to create a mixed-use development consisting of single-family dwellings, offices, retail shops and restaurants on 23.5 acres of land on Massillon Road, just south of Graybill Road.

She said she appreciates that the Green Project site lies within the entertainment district.

Anthony Hunt, of Foxhollow Lane, said his family owns land to be part of the Green Project and he strongly supports the entertainment district.

“I am excited about bringing a vibrant and lively area to the heart of Green,” he said. “There are certainly neighbors who do support it.”

Other residents expressed concern over having too many bars, and possibly a nightclub, in the community, though.

City officials said the entertainment district does not change zoning in the area, and Council could request a hearing concerning a liquor permit application of concern.

Planning Director Wayne Wiethe said last month Green ran out of D-5 permits, which an establishment needs to offer beer, wine and alcohol daily until 2 a.m.

He explained the city now could offer 15 new D-5 liquor licenses through the creation of the district, which required at least 25 acres and $50 million in investments in the area.

Additionally during the meeting, Council:

  • held a public hearing on the street-lighting district for Stoney Creek Estates Phase III, with the cost of the project to be put on future homeowners;
  • awarded a $957,346 contract to Karvo Paving for the resurfacing of Greensburg Road between South Arlington and Shriver roads;
  • authorized a $441,571 contract with Burgess & Niple Inc. for professional engineering services for the Massillon Road Improvement Project, which would include a traffic study and roadway improvements in 2016 or 2017;
  • accepted the final plat and performance bond for CVS Drive;
  • agreed not to request a hearing for a liquor license transfer from Southland Beverage Inc., doing business as Southland Beverage, Middleburg Heights, to Tamarkin Co., doing business as Giant Eagle, at 1620 Corporate Woods Parkway;
  • heard the second reading of a resolution granting consent to the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) to mow on Interstate 77, within the limits of the city of Green, for fiscal year 2013;
  • heard the second reading of a resolution granting consent to ODOT to spot pave within the city limits for fiscal year 2014;
  • heard the first reading of an ordinance authorizing a new agreement with Aqua Ohio, which would allow for a 3.5 percent rate increase per year from April 1 through Dec. 31, 2016, in exchange for capital infrastructure improvements in the city up to about $1.7 million;
  • discussed the progress the newest Council committee — the E/Council, I-pad Project Committee — is making to select a software vendor to help streamline Council’s work flow; and
  • learned of Mayor Dick Norton’s appointment of Gary Binns, director of finance for Summit County Children’s Service, to the city Parks Board. He replaces Craig Greenlee, who recently resigned from the board.

In other city business, Council will hold a public hearing March 26 at 7:05 p.m. at the Central Administration Building (CAB), 1755 Town Park Blvd., regarding the proposed new agreement with Aqua Ohio.

The next regular Council meeting is set for March 26 at 5 p.m. with committee meetings and at 7 p.m. for the regular meeting in Council Chambers at the CAB.

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