The Sprawl Deception

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LETTER TO THE EDITOR of THE MORNING JOURNAL, 5-17-99, By Robert L. Conrad

According to the signs, Gerald Phillips wants us to stop "sprawl" by voting against Avon Commons. Is Phillips trying to deceive us again? The Avon Commons site will be developed commercially with or without Avon Commons.

Until Judge Thomas Janas overturned Avon's zoning law last June, C3 development of this property was required if a development of more than 10 acres was planned. Now, without rezoning to C3, development must proceed as independent projects of 10 acres or less. Avon Commons would provide for Avon's shopping needs for many years, as was the intent of Avon's Master Plan for this site.

In addition to the C2 building size limit of 20,000 square feet, another difference between C3 and C2 is that office buildings are not a permitted use in C3. The purpose of this restriction is to direct offices and services to the French Creek district on Detroit Road west of SR-83, while major retail would be concentrated on the 85-acre Avon Commons site.

During the past year, the Avon Planning Commission reconsidered office zoning. They allowed it it C4 but again decided to keep it out of C3. With the current C2 zoning, office buildings would be part of the Avon Business Park.

The 30% C3 greenspace requirement allows 600,000 square feet of retail on the 85 acres. The 20% greenspace requirement of the existing C2 zoning would permit more than 800,000 square feet of retail.

Although most residents of Avon prefer shopping in stores larger than 20,0000 square feet such as Tops, Giant Eagle, J. C. Penny, and Kaufmann's, the small specialty stores of the Park Square Shopping Center such as, possibly, Aldi's, the Half-Off Card Shop, and Big Lots would appeal to some Avon people; and a concentration of specialty stores would draw people from all over northern Lorain County and northwest Cuyahoga County.

Don't be fooled by the Phillips' sprawl signs. Voting for Avon Commons will give us a first class shopping facililty which will complement the French Creek district.

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