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Cuyahoga Falls Council tables means to acquire liquor licenses

10/17/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Emily Chesnic

A community entertainment district may be on tap for the city of Cuyahoga Falls, if Council members get their reservations addressed.

At the Oct. 14 meeting, Council considered legislation that would designate State Road’s Portage Crossing development as a community entertainment district as a way to acquire additional liquor licenses in the city.

According to state law, a development must contain at least 20 acres to be classified as a community entertainment district.

City officials said Portage Crossing consists of 26 acres of space for retail and restaurants.

At least four restaurants, including Burger Fi and possibly Aladdin’s, are set to locate in Portage Crossing, and these establishments could include full bars, city officials reported.

Community Development Director Susan Truby said the developer, Stark Enterprises, could better market Portage Crossing to potential restaurants with the community entertainment district in place.

With a community entertainment district established, restaurants committed to Portage Crossing would not need to purchase a liquor license, officials explained.

Councilman Jerry James (D-Ward 7) said there were questions that remained unanswered concerning the district, however.

He motioned to table the issue so Council could be more educated on the matter before voting on it.

James added he received numerous calls regarding the proposed entertainment district from concerned residents and current liquor license holders in the city.

Council voted 6-5 to table the legislation, with members Vincent Rubino (D-Ward 1), Mary Ellen Pike (R-Ward 2), Terry Mader (R-Ward 8), Jeff Iula (R-at large) and Vic Pallotta (R-Ward 3) voting “no.”

City Council unanimously agreed to discuss the matter further at a Public Affairs Committee meeting, which was scheduled for Oct. 21 at 6:30 p.m. at the Cuyahoga Falls Natatorium, 2345 Fourth St.

“There is a gray area,” James said concerning the proposed community entertainment district. “I hope we can alleviate the concerns or address them.”

He invited community members to come to the committee meeting to voice their opinions on the potential community entertainment district.

Also during the meeting, Council adopted legislation:

  • approving a minor plat for a minor subdivision of land at 2374 and 2386 Second St.;
  • approving the preliminary and final subdivision plat of Portage Crossing No. 1 Subdivision, vacating portions of Coolidge Avenue, 21st Street and two service drives located therein;
  • authorizing a contract for employment agency services related to seasonal and occasional employees;
  • authorizing a third modification of a contract with SRW Environmental Services Inc. for professional environment assessment services related to remediation of property known as 4610 State Road;
  • authorizing a contract, without competitive bidding, with Wichert Insurance Services Inc. for professional services necessary to manage the city’s risk management and insurance program and for the purchase of public entity insurance coverage; and
  • accepting certain easements from Portage Crossing LLC for the installation and maintenance of electric utility facilities at the Portage Crossing Redevelopment site.

There was no new legislation introduced during the meeting.

Council will hold its next regular meeting Oct. 28 at 6:30 p.m. at the Cuyahoga Falls Natatorium.

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