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Richfield trustees hear complaints about business

11/14/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Jeff Gorman

Two West Streetsboro Road residents complained to the Richfield Township Board of Trustees at the Nov. 7 meeting they think their neighbor is violating the township zoning code by running a dog-training business out of the home.

Tom Sadar and Shawn Kelly complained that the business should not be allowed to rehabilitate “aggressive dogs” in a residential zone.

“The dogs get loose and create havoc, damage, nuisance and poultry [are] being killed,” Sadar said.

No representative from the business was at the meeting. The company’s website and Facebook page state the business rescues and trains dogs, among other services.

John Galonski, of the Summit County Prosecutor’s Office, was at the meeting to discuss similar complaints about other businesses the trustees have received in recent months.

He told Sadar that failure to control dogs could be considered a criminal matter, not a zoning violation. He also said the company might be covered under the zoning code as engaging in animal husbandry, the “breeding, raising and care” of animals.

“A chicken can be replaced for a couple of bucks,” Kelly said. “What if one of these dogs attacks someone’s pet or child?”

Zoning Inspector Laurie Pinney advised the neighbors to keep maintaining information on the issue.

In other news:

  • Police Chief Keith Morgan said his department applied for a grant to replace the computers in the police cars with tablets. Morgan said the switch would save money on hardware.
    The chief also thanked Jackie Ingersoll, who is stepping down from the Richfield Police Department after 31 years as a dispatcher.
  • Fire Chief Jason Mihalek thanked the residents who volunteered for CERT training to assist safety forces during a disaster.
    He also reminded residents to change their smoke detector batteries.
    “You should replace the smoke detector if it’s more than 10 years old,” Mihalek said. “You can check your smoke detector with a canister of dry aerosol smoke, which you can get at the hardware store.”
    The fire chief also commended his crew for assisting in Brecksville, as they helped rescue three people who were trapped in a burning building.
  • Pinney reported she issued zoning certificates for three new homes, as well as an addition to an existing business in the Joint Economic Development District.
    She also reported the trustees will hold a public hearing at the Nov. 21 meeting regarding a proposed zoning code amendment that would consolidate the four commercial districts.
    “Having four different districts for just 49 acres of commercial property seems excessive,” she said.
    Other proposed zoning code amendments would eliminate some restrictions on oil and gas, wireless communication, and agricultural uses in cases in which the township no longer has regulatory authority.
  • The trustees appointed Annie Demko as a member of the Zoning Commission to replace Arlene Pepera, who stepped down recently. There are openings on the Zoning Commission and the Board of Zoning Appeals.
  • Trustees agreed to return $7,500 to the county’s Moving Ohio Forward program, since they did not have any houses to demolish using those funds.
  • The trustees unofficially gave administrative assistant Debbie Bluso Rogers permission to help Richfield Village organize its archives, citing her success in doing the same for the township.
  • Trustee David Wyatt reported the Rising Valley Park gate is up for the winter.
  • Township Administrator Linda Bowmer reported the township will take down its salt dome and use the Ohio Department of Transportation dome near the Ohio Turnpike.
    “This is a win-win,” said Trustee Laurie Peters Gilmore. “The state will allow us to purchase salt from them at a better price than we’re getting, and it will save our backhoes from having to maintain the salt.”
    Bowmer also reported veterans can purchase a veterans’ identification card for $1 Nov. 15 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Cascade Community Development, 2360 Copley Road, Suite No. 6, in Copley. They must bring a photo ID (like a driver’s license) and another form of ID (such as a birth certificate, Social Security Card or military ID).
    Bowmer also updated the timeline for the new township office building. She said the trustees will hopefully award the construction and financing contracts at the Dec. 5 meeting.
  • Yolanda Walker, the executive director of ReWorks, spoke with the trustees about a revision to the county’s Solid Waste Plan. ReWorks was formerly known as the Summit/Akron Solid Waste Management Authority.
    She said ReWorks is trying to increase financial support for residential recycling, expand recycling and waste reduction for businesses, and start a county-wide recycling education campaign.
    “People are still confused over what goes in the bin,” she said.

The next Richfield trustees’ meeting is scheduled for Nov. 21 at 6:30 p.m. at the township offices, located behind the fire station on West Streetsboro Road.

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