MR. BURIK: This special meeting was called solely for the purpose of a second presentation of continuation of our discussion on the referral from council for rezoning of a property located south of I-90, east of 83.
We have decided or elected to hire Dave Hartt to consult us on this matter. I spoke with Mr. Hartt relating to all the questions we had, and --- he just walked in. He is here. He made it from a traffic jam on I-90. So are you settled?
MR. HARTT: Yes.
MR. BURIK: Would you, please -- I think the question we had in general was give us your assessment as a planner of the proposed rezoning, the potential impact it may have on the community, the likelihood of what may happen if it stays zoned as it is, and some other questions -- there were four questions in specific. One was, "Do we need retail in Avon? Is this the right location for retail, for commercial?"
One of the questions was to see what would happen if it was not rezoned, and the last question was the recommendation how this section of town should benefit. So take it from there.
MR. HARTT: Good evening. Sorry for being late. As you know, I guess you heard I did get caught in a traffic jam. Let me, I guess, reiterate the questions that Paul just mentioned, kind of putting them in my own words, which is the basis of the evaluation that I have undertaken. In summary, I was asked to evaluate the merits and appropriateness, to some extent, the impact of the proposed rezoning and looking at that in turn the four questions that Paul mentioned. One, is C-3, or perhaps more generically retail, needed in Avon? Is this a good location for it? What is the appropriate development policy for this location even if the existing commercial zoning did not exist? And, if there was no proposal pending and if it remained in the C-2 classification, would it be developed? I guess that's the way I phrased the questions more or less.
Let me say I am answering these in these contexts: One is the city's past and present planning and zoning policies, and I think that's obviously an important basis or a framework to evaluate any future rezoning and particularly the existing zoning, particularly the 1992 comprehensive plan.
The second context is the city has choices. I will explain that a little bit later on, but what I mean by that is that, in many cases, there is no single technical solution which an outside planner or planning consultant suggests or dictates to a community. In fact, the comprehensive plan refers to planning part as an art, which means you have some choices. You have got to make some difficult decisions among reasonable choices that are possible and appropriate to make.
The third context is, in my opinion, is the reasonableness of the city's choices if we were to accept the C-3 zoning; and lastly, the development distinctions between, under the zoning regulations, between the C-2 and the C-3 classification.
First, by way of the planning background, I think it's pretty clear that the comprehensive plan, the 1992 comprehensive plan, basically confirmed the reasonableness of the existing, at that time, commercial zoning for that particular site. As I understand it, and it's in the comprehensive plan, that one of the existing givens was that this site was zoned for commercial purposes at the time the comprehensive plan was prepared; and the city confirmed that that was a reasonable development policy that they continued to pursue. It also, in doing that, recognized that Avon was under-served in terms of retail development, that Avon was going elsewhere with their shopping needs and basically the dollars found in retail would be important in other communities.
I suspect and I admit that in the limited time I have had to evaluate that, that this probably has not changed. The number of rooftops and the number of homes that have been built in Avon since the comprehensive plan was adopted, if I dare say, exceeds the level of retail that's been developed in the community to reduce the exported dollars or to help meet the retail needs locally. I don't know that for a fact, but I suspect that's the case based on my general understanding of the development patterns.
Obviously, in confirming the existing zoning in the comprehensive plan, it's fair to say that the city presumed that this was an appropriate location for retail -- centrally located. It had good access; and, at the time of the adoption of the comprehensive plan, you were saying that the impacts were acceptable. Notice I didn't say no impacts. You were basically saying that the impacts of retail development, because of it's good location, were acceptable. The zoning existed. You evaluated the zoning, and the development policy comprehensively continued to say the retail in this location was a satisfactory development for the city. I believe now, from my perspective, that that's a reasonable decision for the city to have made and a reasonable planning policy to have established as part of the comprehensive plan. It comports to, if I may use that word, sounds like too big a word, to reasonable planning principles in terms of designating determining locations for retail development in terms of central location, the site being in a central location. It responded appropriately to existing conditions, and one of the existing conditions was the fact that it was zoned commercial. It was in an expressway location. It was on a major highway, Detroit Road
I don't know the extent that this thinking was part of the comprehensive plan, but it's fair to say that retail development pays its way in terms of income tax -- not income taxes -- but taxes generated to the community whether it's the schools or the city compared to service costs. And typically residential, single family residential, is the only use, primary use, that does not pay its way in terms of taxes generated, not just city service costs but school service costs as well. So to the extent that that was a factor in the thinking when the comprehensive plan was developed, obviously, retail does contribute and enhances the city's tax base in terms of revenue received and cost of services.
And, lastly, it does provide the services locally, which was one of the objectives that was set forth in the comprehensive plan, as opposed to residents having to go elsewhere.
The obvious question now might be would I advocate retail in this location if I were a planner and advising the city. I think there are two answers. One, I can't answer that; and I don't need to answer that. This gets back to the fact that there is no single technical solution that can be imposed or dictated by consultants on a community. I think the more realistic question is did the city make a reasonable choice in evaluating the characteristics at that particular location, establishing a retail policy or confirming the retail policy in the comprehensive plan; and I believe for the above-reasons that I have just said, -- the location, tax base, the existing conditions and so forth, that was a reasonable choice for the city to make; and basically to confirm the -- accept the policy, or accept the development policy, in part, based on the current zoning that was in place prior to the plan being developed.
Given that that decision was a reasonable one, the fact that the site should be retail has already been made. Now the question is what are the distinctions and implications between the C-2 classification and the C-3 classification which is now being proposed; and I might add parenthetically that, as you know, I RENDERED AN OPINION EARLIER, at one of the earlier meetings, THAT I DIDN'T THINK THE REZONING WAS NECESSARY, that I felt THE LANGUAGE IN THE C-2 DISTRICT AUTOMATICALLY TRIGGERED THE USE OF THE C-3 REGULATIONS WHEN THE SIZE OF THE AREA ZONED C-2 EXCEEDED THE 10 ACRES. Obviously, a very important person disagreed with me on that; so I know where I stand in terms of that opinion.
But nevertheless, let's look at the differences between the C-2 and the C-3. There are major differences. I don't think this is telling you anything new in reviewing this whole thing in the context of the planning and zoning issues, so I will reiterate them.
And the two distinctions are, one, the store size -- store size in the C-2 district. I shouldn't say store size. I should say BUILDING size -- it's a building size restriction, not a store size restriction -- is limited to 20,000 square feet or less in the C-2. And in the C-3, buildings may be more than 20,000 feet. The green area in the C-2 is 20 percent, and the green area in the C-3 may be required to go up to 30 percent if buildings exceed 70,000 square feet. In they don't exceed 70,000 square feet, my interpretation is, I think, the green space remains the same, which is the same 20 percent as the C-2. These are the distinctions.
There are a lot more similarities than there are distinctions between the two. If you ignore for a minute the open space requirement, the distinction in the open space requirement, which in effect says -- well, I shouldn't say more. On the one hand, the open space requirements says if I have a building more than 70,000 square feet in the C-3, I need 30 percent open space. Therefore, only 70 percent of my site is devoted to buildings and parking; and, in the C-2, 80 percent of my site is devoted towards buildings and parking. So if you assume that the 30 percent is going to be required in the development potential under C-3, the total floor area is less than the development potential under the C-2. But now let's kind of ignore the distinction in the open space and look at the similarities between the two districts.
Forgetting that there is less development potential in the C-3 for a moment, (30 percent open space does click in), the total development floor area regardless of the 20,000 square feet limitation is the same in either case. It's a matter of configuration of those buildings and the size of those buildings. The development capacity over the 80 acres is exactly the same in both districts. Therefore, the amount of parking -- again forgetting the 20 and 30 percent, the amount of parking that is provided on the site is the exact same in both districts.
The amount of coverage of buildings and parking, again, except for the 20 and 30 percent, is the same. Total area that could be devoted to building and parkways could be the same; or, if 30 percent is triggered in the C-3, there is less developable capacity in the C-3 than the C-2. Based on this equivalency, so to speak, -- parking, building, and floor area -- the traffic generation is approximately the same. The bigger stores do not necessarily generate more traffic than a series of smaller stores. The traffic generation is based on a similar area rather than the size of each individual store.
The design issues are basically the same because there is no spacing requirement in the C-2 district which says that the individual buildings have to be so many feet apart, so that they can be relatively close whether it's two feet or five feet or six feet or ten feet. Even if the property owner is required to comply with the C-2 regulations, the effect of building mass and building length and building walls along the perimeter of that particular site adjacent to the freeway -- the single family or freeway -- that remains unchanged. These are design issues that need to be addressed, but they're design issues that need to be addressed regardless of whether the property is zoned in the C-2 or C-3 classification.
The major distinction, other than ... store size and green area, ... the major FUNCTIONAL or development distinction is what the C-2 district does, in my opinion, is it forces on the 80 acres BUILDING IN immediate obsolescence. That is because in a conventional shopping center, many stores are greater than 20,000 square feet. For the center to be successful, you need to have the stores that want to be greater than 20,000 square feet, if that's what they're accustomed to do and if that's what they have found is acceptable in the marketplace. They need to market in ways that are convenient for them, and they need to market in ways that provide anchors to the center which attract people to the smaller stores. So we have got a floor area that doesn't change. You have got parking that doesn't change. All you're doing is preventing the store size to be the way the retailers want to build it and the customers want to shop in it, which is basically saying you can't have a store size that's being conventionally built and needed in shopping centers today, that has to be totally redone to comply with the 20,000 square feet limitation.
This is important for marketing purposes, for the customer's purpose. They want to go where the retail is being done in a way that's acceptable and give themselves the choices and provide the anchors, and not only the retailers want it but I think it's true that the shoppers want it as well.
Even in the C-2 the smaller stores can't be placed in a continuous building because there is a building restriction of 20,000 square feet. So many, many shopping centers of 30 or 40 or 50,000 square feet are all in one building, and even if they were to have small stores that complied with your 20,000 square feet restriction in the C-2, it couldn't be done in this district in one building because it would have to be a series of buildings because the 20,000 square foot restriction is a BUILDING size, NOT a store size restriction.
Again, there is no spacing requirement, so it's almost like a standard that doesn't achieve any public purpose because the effect of the larger center and the longer building can be effectively achieved even though it's put into the smaller buildings or individual buildings.
Just to reiterate or expand on this whole issue of the store sizes, numerous stores which are intended to meet the community needs, and which I say are LOCAL community needs, are typically bigger than 20,000 square feet. Let me look beyond the standard account -- large discount stores like Wal-Mart or standard Home Depots or Builders Square are the two that immediately, typically immediately come to mind. Grocery stores serve a very, very LOCAL market and are typically more than 20,000 square feet. Office supply stores, sporting goods stores, some drugstores, bookstores, toy stores, appliance stores, housewares and even high end department stores are going to be used. We develop the cities in the urban areas with large downtown department stores in the central core of large and small cities and villages way back in the teens and the '20s. And that's what the focus and the nucleus of the downtown was, was a big anchor. It was a big, big department store whether it was Sears or the Dillards or whether it was May Company; and these were again not only large communities but small towns as well.
I suppose you can say that if you prohibit the C-3, the site might not be developed because you're forcing the developers to comply with the configuration that really doesn't meet the market needs from a retailer or consumer standpoint. So I suppose it's a possibility if the C-2 classification remains intact that that property would not be developed. I DON'T THINK THAT THAT'S THE WAY YOU SHOULD BE MAKING YOUR ZONING AND DEVELOPMENT POLICIES, that is to establish zoning classifications that prohibit development or, even worse, allow development which is immediately obsolete because it has these restrictions on it.
Again, through the C-3 and the larger stores you're meeting the key retailing and consumer needs; and there is no change in the impact between the C-2 and the C-3. And, in fact, there might be less impact with the C-3, assuming that this 30 percent open space is triggered and it will be less floor area overall and more open space.
So I guess in summary, and I think along the way I have responded to the four questions, I think it's reasonable to rezone this property to the C-3 classification with no change in impact and naturally C-3 might be less. It permits a competitive center which I believe is essential for retail success from my planning perspective.
And, thirdly, it best carries out the Planning Commission's recommendations which you said in 1992 retail development in this location was acceptable.
MR. BURIK: Gentlemen, do you have any questions?
MR. WEARSCH: Mr. Hartt, in light of the fact that the city has adopted C-3 zoning and along with reading articles in the paper of other cities in northern Ohio who have fought location of super stores and certain types of zoning, is it feasible to say that since we have a C-3 type zoning in our code and do not have any that exists that we would be -- we would have exposure to civil suit by property rights of a property owner if we did not have that zoning of that type within our master plan?
MR. HARTT: You mean you have it in the zoning code but you don't it on the land? You don't have a mapped area?
MR. WEARSCH: Right.
MR. HARTT: I don't think that issue alone -- I am trying not to use a legal term. I don't think on that issue alone you would be in jeopardy. It used to be, and I guess I am kind of shying away from knowing the legal ramifications of that; but it used to be in the late '60s and early '70s -- and what you're saying seems to be I think more true then than it is today -- that if you had a district in the text, better map it, because you said it was appropriate for the community. An awful lot of communities have zoning districts that are in the text, that are available for use, but aren't necessarily shown on the zoning map; so I don't think that by itself is an issue the city needs to worry about. I think the bigger issue is what is the public purpose of retaining the C-2. That's where I don't think there is a legitimate public purpose for retaining the C-2 because the whole development capacity is the same. The marketing is the same. The space is the same and more. All you're doing is restricting the floor size or building size. By doing so, you're not reducing floor area. You are not reducing total floor area by reducing the size or limiting the size of an individual store. That I think is the real danger of keeping the C-2, because your impacts are the same. YOU'RE JUST ASKING FOR OBSOLESCENCE to comply to that.
MR. WEARSCH: Several years ago the Council was concerned about the potential of super stores and what impact they would have on the community. An extensive study was done by Council and Planning Commission; and legislation was drafted and the acknowledgement at that time was that you couldn't exclude them but you could limit as to location, which brought about that section of the code delineating the areas. If that is absent, do you still feel the same way?
MR. HARTT: Yes, I do. It seems to me that with the bigger stores -- it is not the traffic impact or environmental impact -- you're worried about the roof and the parking area. It's more a design impact; and the concern is that the bigger stores are, frankly, blanker stores in that they had more blank walls. I think that is the real impact. That's the impact that is the same even if you have a series of 20,000 square foot buildings and you have backs that are adjacent to the freeway of a parking lot. The real issue in these stores -- in the bigger stores, is the design of the stores to make sure that they are an attractive property, landscaped, -- setbacks so you don't get the long blank wall. In my view, that's the best way.
MR. WEARSCH: I think here's a situation where obviously the cart is before the horse because we have gone through the procedure before. We all know that the end result stays the same. Obviously the cart came before the horse because we already have seen the project. We know that aspect already. We're here for the purpose of zoning, not for the purpose of developing.
MR. BURIK: Any other questions?
MR. GRACZYK: Mr. Hartt, I have kind of a basic question, okay. Is there a rule of thumb as to how much retail a city needs? If you were to take and go a half mile outside of the boundaries of the City of Avon, to the east is Westlake, to the north is Avon Lake, to the west Sheffield, to the south is North Ridgeville, within a half a mile of those boundaries is probably a million square feet of retail, okay. There is more proposed. Bearing that in mind, if the city was one mile bigger than it is today, okay, all that would be inside the boundaries of the City of Avon. Because it's so close in proximity there, okay, what kind of retail do we need to have? I mean you have virtually seven grocery stores within a mile of where you're sitting right now.
MR. HARTT: Those are good questions. I guess two answers to that. One is, yes, you can come up with a standard that says this is how much floor area the residents of Avon -- retail floor area they need. The problem with that is that retailing does not work by geographic boundaries. There is spillage that goes in and out, and I think that what you have to do for the most part in dealing with the market issue is, frankly, rely on the developer's sense or the property owner's sense of whether they think the market can be met in that particular location. You can get into all kinds of games in terms of -- you can do it one way and the developer or the applicants or the property owners would do it another way. Retail store A will do it one way or retail store B will do it in a different way in terms of how they feel they're meeting market requirements. It is very, very difficult to back up. On the one hand you're saying in the comprehensive plan that you wanted retail to meet your local needs of the residents. That's a valid policy. When you're developing retail, you're not just getting the traffic and the trade to that center from the local jurisdiction. There is a lot of back and forth in terms of how the market is being satisfied. That's not a very satisfactory answer, but that's the best I can do.
MR. BURIK: Go ahead.
MR. STRINGER: I just have a question out of curiosity. In making your plans for a city's development, is it appropriate in the planning process to consider what the costs are going to be of running the city and what the ability of the people will be for paying those costs in the city? Is that something that's totally left out?
MR. HARTT: Oh, no. I would say in the comprehensive plans that we have done recently, that issue is high on the list of issues that need to be addressed in coming up with a development policy -- what the whole proportional tax base from the non-residential and revenue producing positive side produces versus the residential tax base or the single family tax base, particularly, which is kind of a negative generator as far as the city and the school district is concerned. These are issues that communities are wrestling with all the time, all the time.
MR. STRINGER: So that would be considered a legitimate consideration in putting together a master plan?
MR. HARTT: Absolutely.
MR. STRINGER: Thank you.
MR. BURIK: Mr. Hartt, we received a copy of a letter that was forwarded to you from Mr. Stark. So I imagine you had a chance to review it and are familiar with the proposal? Let me ask you of your sense of the proposed development at Lear-Nagle, how that would impact the community versus this project, or no project. Or if you're not ready to comment on it, I can appreciate that.
MR. HARTT: ... My charge based on the action of the Planning Commission is to look at this request and look at the four questions that you raised. I received the proposal from the people at Lear-Nagle this afternoon. It was 2:00, 3:00, something like that. I briefly looked at it. I don't think it's fair at this point for me to make any comment on the relative impacts of that versus this, ... or an independent location. I think the issue before you is a more narrower issue at this particular time. You have a proposal before you to make a decision on this particular request.
MR. BURIK: Maybe I will try to summarize some of the questions in my own words, and I think the initial question was --
MR. HARTT: Let me back up on that other one because partly why I want to back off on the other request is this gets back to the issue of choices. It is not necessarily to accept the Stark proposal. It may be a reasonable decision, but there may be other reasonable decisions or policies that you can establish for that particular site as well; so that gets to the issue of the community has choice; and you make those choices based on a comprehensive look at your whole community. And there may be several alternatives that are appropriate and reasonable for each site -- for many sites. I'm sorry.
MR. BURIK: That's all right. I appreciate your comment. It appears, especially after I saw a copy of that letter, that there is a definite sense of competition between the two proposals.
MR. HARTT: I think, getting back to the choice issue, I run the risk now of getting more into that than I wanted to by my initial statement. The assumption is that the communities want the interchange. That may be a viable assumption; and the interchange may be very desirable; but the interchange in that location doesn't necessarily dictate that that's [a Stark/Jacobs shopping center] the suitable development policy for that location in Avon.
MR. BURIK: Tom, you had you hand up?
MR. WEARSCH: I feel it's premature to discuss it because there has never been an application before this body other than a basic supposition that it's going to happen. We have read more through newspapers about it than anything that has come through this commission. I find it hard to feel it's a viable point to discuss when it hasn't -- there hasn't been any formal application for any part of this project, rezoning or anything.
MR. BURIK: All right. Any other questions for Mr. Hartt? I guess in essence your answers were the idea of rezoning is reasonable, there are choices to be made by the city, and this is a reasonable choice. And then that also covers the question of location. Those two kind of go hand in hand. The question -- I don't know. Did you ever address the question is there a preferred way this should be developed?
MR. HARTT: No. That's where I say I can't dictate any technical solution, any single technical development policy for a city on most pieces of land. It's your call. You made that call in 1992; and I think that was a reasonable call to make based on all things considered at that time: the needs of the community, the location, the existing zoning, the intersection, the interchange. And I think the second part of the conclusion is that THERE IS NO PUBLIC PURPOSE NOW, based on the similarities between the two districts, TO RETAIN THE 20,000 SQUARE FOOT BUILDING [LIMITATION].
MR. BURIK: And I think the last question was whether remaining C-2 kind of answers that, too, would be -- you asked that question. If it remains C-2, what impact it would have. You're saying that it would be virtually the same traffic impact and potentially more because of a larger square footage that was available, and there is a sense of that it may limit or --
MR. HARTT: I think I also said if you do retain the C-2, there is a possibility that it might not be developed, or all of it would not be developed because it couldn't be absorbed with the smaller store size. I don't think you should be making your -- or implementing your development policy based on leaving it commercial and retarding or discouraging or preventing reasonable development, or building an obsolete development.
MR. BURIK: The applicant, Mr. Schneider, would you like to make some comments?
MR. SCHNEIDER: I had the opportunity to make most of my comments last week, and I don't see any need to repeat them here this evening. But I did have a question for Mr. Hartt that really pertains to the question that Mr. Gracyk asked of me last week, and Mr. Graczyk asked Mr. Hartt tonight, regarding what would happen to this property if it remains C-2 in terms of its development potential. You suggested tonight that at a full retail build-out, perhaps developers might build buildings that would be immediately functionally obsolescent. I spent some time thinking about this issue over the weekend as well, and would like your comment,
Mr. Hartt, with respect to a more mixed use C-2 development, given the demographics of this location, given the growth pattern in this section of Northeastern Ohio, freeway interchange, I am envisioning the possibility of mixed small retail developments, perhaps automobile dealerships lined up one after the other as a positive development alternative if this were to remain C-2 mixed with perhaps office buildings or professional office spaces. I have also sort of thought through how well would the 80 acres of C-2, with building sizes limited to 20,000 square feet, make a reasonable development site, given the demographics of freeway interchange, for a factory outlet type of development of several hundred thousand square feet. I guess my question is, perhaps at full retail on 80 acres, there may be a lot of immediate functional obsolescence; but could this site be developed with those potential uses?
MR. HARTT: The easy answer would be yes. Sure, it would be a series of auto dealers, yes. Probably not the entire 80 acres. Could be a mix of small retail stores and some outlet stores and possibly automotive dealerships, yes. All those things are possible. I think it's fair to say that if it were developed substantially with automotive dealerships -- in a sense contradictory. Despite all the cars that are associated with automobile dealerships, the traffic generation is less than with the retail store. There aren't as many cars coming and going in terms of employees and customers on a daily basis. You have a lot of cars on the site, but then there is always the question as to whether that outdoor activity of inventory used of new and used cars sitting onsite and the fact (inaudible) which is a more conventional -- I shouldn't be talking about the proposal. More conventional shopping center which would have indoor stores. May be more to that.
MR. BURIK: Any discussion between the members. Gentlemen, would you like to make any comments?
MR. GRACZYK: Are you accepting comments from the audience?
MR. BURIK: Again, this is not a public hearing but it is a significant issue for consideration by this body ... Council will have a public hearing; but if there are any people that would like to make a comment, brief three-minute comment or so, I will open the floor for a few minutes to get some input. Anybody care to make a comment?
All right? Any discussion?
MR. WEARSCH: I have a few comments. Thinking about, you know, this whole thing as the process has developed, we try to give it as much thought as possible. Obviously, it is a significant impact on the city. For anybody that has sat around here a long time, I think they know my philosophy about the community.
When I became involved in 1973 with the city, and ever since that point in time, I think every person who has ever run for Council, including myself, every Mayor that's ever run for the seat, every one has said you need controlled growth and controlled development. All of them, including myself, have wracked our brains to try and accomplish this; and as I said, my philosophy coming in in 1973 remains the same today.
In my lifetime, I have seen Rocky River totally developed out. I saw North Olmsted totally developed out. Westlake is going about the same way, and we're well under way. My philosophy I developed at that time is once Avon becomes completely developed, whatever point in time it might be, that we have a sense of being, purpose, and individuality -- meaning we control the type of development that occurs, when it occurs and the quality of development that we have. And when we have total build-out, we have something that we're proud of.
Looking at this development, I think it fits that mode. Not all of us like development. I was born and raised in this town. When the first new house was built and I realized such a thing existed, I probably resented it; but it's there. There have been many thousands of houses built since that time. I think that's all quality, and it's an asset to Avon. I feel that, in spite of the fact that we're not specifically discussing this development, it has become an issue based on the letter that's been submitted by Mr. Phillips and the people that have submitted protest letters. It has been made an issue. And I ask myself is this a quality development that fits the mode of our city when we have build-out? I think, in looking at other developments in other communities, this will become a quality development. I would only hope if it's rezoned, it's what we end up with. I have faith that it will.
Looking over our master plan, in reviewing what Council has done in the past several years concerning super store development, we adopted a section of the code that limited the areas where super stores could be potentially located. I feel that the adoption of that legislation was a reason why, in establishing certain areas of the city where this could only exist. This property being one of them.
Over the many years I have been involved with the city, that property has always been discussed as having potential for a large shopping center. This only confirms what the suspicion always was, that that would occur someday. We have limited the areas where they can be built. I think Council was saying at the time that they adopted the legislation, saying that all super stores had to be within a half mile [of an I 90 interchange], that they were acknowledging the fact that this is a parcel where the potential exists.
As a last remark, simply in making my decision how I would vote, I think Mr. Graczyk's statement that he made at the last meeting about potential of developing the property as C-2, and the type of development that would occur based on that, did not seem to me, and further discussion which was reinforced this evening, that that would not be an asset or a beneficial development for the city. So I feel that Mr. Graczyk has done me a favor by letting me think of that point. I appreciate it. We need to work for the best type of development that we can for the city since it's going to occur. Thank you.
MR. BURIK: Any further comments from anybody?
MR. GRACZYK: I didn't think it was the time to do it. I thought that was during the comments part.
MR. BURIK: It's a discussion. Well,
MR. GRACZYK: I don't agree with a lot of what Tom said. I sat on Council when we passed the super store ordinance. We never once in any meeting had that discussion. I think that was evident by the fact that five members of Council did not agree with the zoning on that piece of property. I don't have a terrible problem with Mr. Schneider's development. I think Mr. Schneider's development is a development that most cities would be proud to have in it. I think that my problem is that this is something that is going to forever change the face of Avon. I don't think that you or I or anybody that is elected to this office or appointed to this chair has the right to make that kind of decision. I think that decision should be left to the voters of the city. For that reason I am going to vote against it because I think it belongs before the voters, okay? I think that an 80-acre development is one thing, but the permanent change it makes on the surface of the city is another thing. I think that those people have the right to do that. While I may support it because of its character, I won't support it to take and drive it in here at any cost. I just won't do that.
MR. WEARSCH: Just one short comment. You know, I appreciate everything you say, Ted. The only problem I have with it is you're sitting here tonight as a planner, not as a councilman, okay? Let's think as planners and what the best use of the property in the city and the ultimate development of our city is. This isn't a popularity contest.
MR. BURIK: I guess I would like to make a comment for everybody's consumption. (inaudible.) I think as planners we are to -- we're the people that spend many many nights sitting and discussing and reviewing and reading up on things and all of that. It's our task to have answers and provide guidance. I did a lot of searching which I am sure everybody else on this body did, not only in the last week but the last two months and also in the last year, because this has been at issue for about a year. I think my initial two questions to Mr. Hartt were we need retail services and is this the right location. In my mind, those were the pivotal questions that needed to be answered -- and my answers to them as a planner or somebody that sits on the Planning Commission -- it is our task to foresee what will happen next year and maybe the next five or ten years to try to chart our course.
I think there are a number of elements that dictate the quality of life. A community needs a variety of types of RESIDENTIAL development that are offered, and a variety in terms of design and availability; and I think we're working to that end as a Planning Commission reclustering and tossing around the Western Reserve concept. And we have been doing that for the past three years. EMPLOYMENT opportunities: I think our community should be an employment community. I know the Mayor and Council have worked real, real hard to create some jobs in town and bring in industry.
Look at the SCHOOLS: the school board has been working hard to keep education at a high level. RECREATION: the city just purchased planning for the parks, etc., so these are things that have been done to make this a better community. I think one of the things that must not be ignored, but it's really outside of the scope of what the city can do or cannot, is the services provided to the community by commerce, by RETAIL. Right now we are underserved. There are opportunities outside of the city, but I don't think that's a good planning policy to say we'll rely on other communities to carry the burden or take care of that aspect of our lives.
I think each community should be as self-sustaining as possible. People are living in a very mobile society; and people travel and visit cities and shop in different cities; but I think there should be an effort made as planners to provide all the services that people need for the FIVE CATEGORIES which I just noted, which are things that retail -- that real estate people will talk to you about if you're buying a house in a community. Those are the things that people ask about. I think we need all aspects of those categories to try to improve the availability and the quality in our community, so from that point of view, I think it's needed. I think we need to provide the retail that right now we do not have.
Then the second question is where. Is this the right location? I think the central location that has been designated many, many years ago is the right location. It's the spot that will be conducive to re-enforcing the core area. I think some of the other locations that have been brought forth formally or informally would be more divisive. I think anything away from the core area in the center would cause a split in the city and end up decentralizing rather than centralizing. Our charge is based on the recent master plan to maintain a village-like atmosphere. We need to create a centrally located town with a core area, good services and amenities; and around it you have more residential areas. So I think this location has been -- and ignoring the past and looking at the future and looking at where we should go, I think creating a focal point at this point would be an asset; and right now it seems to be difficult; and I know it is going to create some growing pains especially for the immediate neighborhood. I think looking at it at large in the community in three or four years, when it all settles, it would be very accepted; and in another five years people will wonder how we lived without it. I think it's something that needs to be incorporated into our growth plan.
Any other comments? Well, if there is no other discussion, this is the second presentation. May I have a motion to make a recommendation to Council to rezone the said property from C-2 to C-3 zoning?
MR. MALLOY: So moved.
MR. WEARSCH: Seconded.
MR. BURIK: Motion and a second. Any other discussion?
MS. BOMMER: Mr. Graczyk?
MR. GRACZYK: No.
MS. BOMMER: Mr. Malloy?
MR. MALLOY: Yes.
MS. BOMMER: Mr. Piazza?
MR. PIAZZA: Abstain.
MS. BOMMER: Mr. Wearsch?
MR. WEARSCH: Yes.
MS. BOMMER: Mr. Burik?
MR. BURIK: Yes.
Chair declares the motion passed 3 to 1 with one abstention. ....
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