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Council delays vote on residential development

3/16/2017 - West Side Leader
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By Emily Chesnic

Cuyahoga Falls City Council decided March 13 to delay voting on a proposed project on East Bath Road after hearing residents have concerns.

Councilman Michael Brillhart (D-Ward 5) moved to send back to the Planning and Zoning Committee an ordinance concerning plans by developer Danny Karam for a residential property at the corner of Hunter Parkway and East Bath Road. Brillhart said he received “37 phone calls” that day from people who want to speak to Council on the matter before it is voted on.

“It is important that they have the opportunity to voice their opinion,” he said.

Council approved sending the legislation, which would subdivide 333 E. Bath Road into six lots for single-family, attached homes, back to committee.

Councilman Paul Colavecchio (D-at large) said residents specifically are concerned about possible parking issues within the development, as well as issues with possible fencing.

He questioned, “Where are people going to park? And the street is not a solution.”

Councilman Russ Iona (R-Ward 8) explained the Planning and Zoning Commission approved plans for the project last month. He said the land is in a “multifamily residential zone.”

He said he also received calls regarding the issue, with most callers concerned about traffic problems that already exist in that area.

Iona encouraged Falls residents questioning the project to attend Council’s committee meetings March 20 at 6:30 p.m. at The Natatorium, 2345 Fourth St., when comments can be made by the public on the proposed plan.

Also at the meeting, Council heard from Bailey Road resident Morgan Gates, who expressed concern over the social media behavior of Councilman Adam Miller (R-Ward 6).

Gates — who said she studied school psychology at Kent State University, is an advocate for local, small businesses and participates in Falls’ River Day Cleanup — presented Council with printouts of Facebook interactions involving Miller.

She told Council recent remarks Miller made on Facebook concerning immigration were “inappropriate.”

Gates said Miller called her a “snowflake” and also “mocked safe space.”

She asked Council to reconsider his committee assignments in light of his “name calling and bullying” on social media.

Miller told Gates he appreciated her expressing her views.

“I do not agree with everything you said,” Miller said. “My offer stands to meet one-on-one.”

Miller said he appreciates Gates’ commitment to the Falls and her efforts.

“I know my remarks may have sounded harsh and I apologize,” he said.

According to Miller, he would like to “build a relationship of understanding” with Gates.

He told her they could work together to make a “positive impact” on the community.

Additionally at the meeting, Council approved the annual resurfacing and repair of various streets in the city this year.

Resurfacing will occur on:

√ Ninth Street, from Silver Lake Avenue to the north end;

√ 11th Street, from Grant Avenue to Francis Avenue;

√ 12th Street, from Jefferson Avenue to Portage Trail and from Falls Avenue to Broad Boulevard;

√ 17th Street, from Broad Boulevard to Sackett Avenue and from Sackett Avenue to Chestnut Boulevard;

√ 20th Street, from North Haven Boulevard to Ohio Avenue;

√ West Bath Road, from State Road to Northampton Road;

√ Broad Boulevard, from State Road to 26th Street;

√ Broadway East, from High Street to Bailey Road;

√ Calvert Drive, from Sackett Avenue to the end of the roadway;

√ Cook Street, from Tallmadge Road to Broadway East;

√ Elmwood Street, from Fourth Street to Birchwood Avenue and from Moulton Avenue to Graham Road;

√ Front Street, from Chestnut Boulevard to Prospect Street;

√ Highland Avenue, from Victoria Street to Bailey Road;

√ Hillside Street;

√ Lillis Drive, from Graham Road to Portage Trail;

√ Lindbergh Avenue, from State Road to 21st Street and from 21st Street to North Haven Boulevard;

√ Monroe Avenue, from Oakwood Drive to Bailey Road;

√ Sackett Avenue, from State Road to 25th Street; and

√ State Road, from Broad Boulevard to the south corporate line.

“I hope the bids come in low enough to maybe do an extra street or two, like we did last year,” said Councilman Jeff Iula (R-at large).

Council also adopted an ordinance for a contract for design-build services to conduct phase II of the in-stream and riparian restoration of Kelsey Creek and for associated bank restoration.

At the regular meeting, Council also introduced the following pieces of new legislation:

  • an ordinance accepting the site plan for reconstruction of the football stadium complex at Walsh Jesuit High School at 4550 Wyoga Lake Road;
  • an ordinance authorizing Mayor Don Walters to enter into a Pipeline Initiative Grant Agreement for up to $12,000 with the Ohio History Connection and to appropriate and authorize the payment of the grant funds; and
  • an ordinance authorizing a contract for the Downtown Transformation Design-Build Project.

In other city news, Miller announced a public hearing will be held at the committee meetings March 20 around 6:30 p.m. regarding legislation creating a tax increment financing incentive district, declaring improvements to the parcels within the incentive district to be a public purpose and exempt from real property taxation, and requiring the owners of those parcels to make service payments in lieu of taxes.

Council will hold committee meetings March 20 and a regular meeting March 27, both at 6:30 p.m. at The Natatorium.

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