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Trustees discuss concerns over crusher

4/10/2014 - West Side Leader
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By Jeff Gorman

Twenty-one people jammed into the Richfield Township office building April 3, many of them for the trustees’ discussion on the operation of a concrete crusher on Columbia Road.

At the March 20 meeting, the trustees authorized Zoning Inspector Laurie Pinney to draft a settlement agreement with JJJ Properties, which owns the property that is located in the Light Industrial-Office District. The company appealed Pinney’s issuance of a zoning violation for its use of the crusher.

The trustees learned they had the legal authority to try to settle the issue, rather than waiting for it to come before the Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) April 21.

Pinney gave a draft of the settlement to the trustees two days before the meeting.

“It’s time to move ahead,” said Trustee Bob Luther. “One thing that’s very important in this draft is that Laurie Pinney’s citation is not removed. We can still enforce it. Any violation of the settlement would nullify the agreement.”

Summit County Councilman Nick Kostandaras (D-District 1) urged the trustees to act in the best interest of the local residents as well as JJJ Properties.

“You’ve got to look at both sides,” he said. “You have to handle this in such a way that you don’t hurt one party and take care of the other.”

Columbia Road resident Glyn Grand said concrete crushing should not be allowed in the Light-Industrial Office District.

“I don’t think it’s a light industrial thing,” he said. “It’s a heavy thing.”

Trustee Janet Jankura said settling the issue rather than letting it go before the BZA, and possibly the courts, was “better risk management.”

“We can look out for everyone in a way that is proactive,” she said.

The most recent draft would allow the crusher to operate Mondays through Saturdays from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., and not on Sundays or holidays.

JJJ Properties owner John Allega said the crusher only ran for 11 days in 2013.

“It doesn’t make any noise,” he said.

Pinney noted that JJJ operates a concrete batch plant under the terms of a 2005 judgment, which the company has “strictly adhered to. People get it confused with the concrete crusher.”

The trustees also discussed plans for the new administration building on Boston Mills road. Trustee Jeff Shupe said the township could look into obtaining grants to help pay for the building,

In other news:

  • Police Chief Keith Morgan said the Richfield and Bath police and fire department conducted emergency drills at the Revere Local School District schools during spring break.
    “These active shooter drills are included in the Ohio Fire Code,” said Fire Chief Jason Mihalek.
    Morgan also reminded residents they can dispose of old prescription drugs in the box in front of the police station.
    Mihalek and the trustees wished a speedy recovery to firemedic Mike Lester, who suffered a severe thumb injury on the job.
    The fire chief also warned residents to call the fire department if they ever encounter fallen power lines or telephone lines. Never touch them, Mihalek said.
  • Pinney reported she issued a zoning certificate for a new residence on Dewey Road.
    She also reported Club Motor Plex appealed a decision of the BZA to Summit County Common Pleas Court.
    In addition, Pinney said that Ken Dorsett resigned as an alternate on the BZA, which now has openings for a full five-year term and an alternate one-year term.
  • The trustees agreed to ask the BZA for a variance on the new administration building on Boston Mills Road, since the overall cost could be lowered by reducing the rear setback from 60 feet to 20 feet.
  • The Zoning Commission will meet today, April 10, at 6:30 p.m. at the township offices to discuss riparian regulations, which includes waterways and wetlands.
  • Pinney and Jankura visited the Crowell/Hilaka camp, as both Richfield governments and other partners are considering the future of the property.
    “It was very helpful to see the property,” said Jankura. “I can see the possibilities. A lot of the buildings are in disrepair and need a lot of work.”
  • The trustees also agreed to spend up to $5,000 on repairs on a truck the township purchased in 2005.

The next Richfield trustees’ meeting is scheduled for April 17 at 6:30 p.m. at the township office building, located behind the fire station on West Streetsboro Road.

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