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Council OKs lot; Metro Parks plans bike trail

11/28/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Stephanie Kist

Council also encourages participation in Small Business Saturday Nov. 30

Akron City Council members approved a conditional use for Metro Parks, Serving Summit County following a public hearing Nov. 25.

The conditional-use permit will allow for the construction of a gravel parking lot at 2655 Akron-Peninsula Road in Hampton Hills Metro Park that will service a new mountain bike trail. No one spoke in opposition at the public hearing.

The lot will have 29 spaces, and there also will be an information kiosk, water fountain, sign and picnic area near the lot. According to city planning officials, the use of gravel will not only be appropriate for the surroundings but also preferable due to the drainage in the area.

Council also held a public hearing on a request for a conditional-use permit to construct a 900-square-foot storage building on the grounds of Portage Country Club. There also was no opposition voiced by residents during the public hearing, but due to some concerns, Councilwoman Marilyn Keith (D-Ward 8), in whose ward Portage Country Club is located, requested Council take time before voting on the request.

During the Planning Committee meeting, Councilman Michael Williams (D-at large), who lives in the neighborhood near Portage Country Club, noted the closest house to the proposed building is currently vacant, and the next owner of the house might have a problem with the construction of the building.

In other business, Council approved a resolution encouraging participation in Small Business Saturday Nov. 30 to support local small businesses.

“While all retailers look forward to Black Friday, Small Business Saturday was established to bring attention to the nation’s small businesses and help promote their sales,” the resolution states.

Council President Garry Moneypenny (D-Ward 10), who sponsored the legislation with Mayor Don Plusquellic, said in Summit County there are nearly 3,000 businesses with 19 or fewer employees, more than half of which have one to four employees.

While the larger companies in the area might be considered “cornerstones” to the local economy, Moneypenny said, “the small businesses are really, I believe, the bricks and mortar that hold the cornerstones in place.”

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

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