Avon Growth News, 3-15-07 to 4-30-07

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3-15-07 Value Place hotel chain has plans for Avon site

4-10-07 Foreclosure rates on the rise in first quarter '07

4-17-07 Ron Larson steps forward to save the Avon Center School

4-18-07 A school (and sewers) on Long Road?

4-24-07 New west side school at Veterans Park?

A Charter attack has been initiated on Detroit Road. See Charter Challenge to Detroit Road Preservation The Avon Law Director has suggested that the 2007 Charter Review Commission "may also want to look at the Detroit Road amendment for keeping only three lanes."

On November 4, 2003, the citizens of Avon voted for the Detroit Road Preservation Charter Amendment:

"Neither Council nor Planning Commission shall act to widen the pavement on Detroit Road ... to more than thirty-six (36) feet, or to divide said pavement into more than three (3) lanes ... except at intersections and approaches to intersections with arterial or collector public streets."

The appearance of Detroit Road is a fundamental feature of Avon's small town atmosphere. Preserving Detroit Road is an important quality of life goal because Detroit Road is the setting for many of our churches, schools, and century homes.

A Master Thoroughfare Plan, paid for by the Jacobs Group, was presented by a URS traffic engineer to the Planning Commission on June 12, 2002. URS recommended that Avon put five lanes of pavement on Detroit Road to carry traffic to an I-90 interchange at Nagel Road.

With 5 lanes permitted on Detroit Road, Avon could be required by the courts to rezone Detroit Road in a manner that is "constitutionally permissible." It could be argued that five lanes of pavement on Detroit Road make single family residential use impossible and that the entire length of Detroit Road should be zoned commercial or for apartments, now, even before another square foot of pavement is added.

Removing Detroit Road Preservation from Avon's Charter would nullify the charter amendment adopted on November 7, 2006, which requires an affirmative public vote to rezone residential property south of Detroit Rd. for commercial purposes. Using "constitutionally permissible," commercial and multifamily would creep south from Detroit Road.

More lanes on Detroit will make it a traffic generator, not a way to move cars around Avon. Apartments on Detroit Rd. could add 15,000 people to Avon's build-out population. Avon has an area of 20.9 square miles. Parma has an area of 20.8 square miles and had a population of 87,000 in 2003. Five lanes of pavement on Detroit Road would be consumed by the traffic generated on Detroit Road.

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NEWS ARTICLE from The Sun, 3-15-07, By Brian Lisik

``Value Place hotel chain has plans for Avon site

AVON -- Joining a growing number of businesses moving to the city, the Wichita, Kansas-based Value Place hotel chain will be constructing two new hotels in northeast Ohio, including one on Moore Road, north of Interstate 90.

Planning Department approval was granted Feb. 28 and Jennifer Kramp, brand communications manager for Value Place, said the company will be closing on the property this month.

"Construction is slated to begin April 1st [2007]," she said. "And our properties generally take about six months to complete. So the earliest we would be opening would probably be in October."

Value Place founder Jack DeBoer, the man behind the forerunner of extended-stay hotels, Residence Inn, has said that a Value Place suite is a combination of a hotel room and an apartment house. The chain prices its efficiency suites by the week and since 2004, it has become the fastest growing hotel chain in the country.

Kramp said Value Place was attracted to Avon based on the fact that it is a growing city ...

Kramp said Value Place's targeted customers are business travelers and those on the move within their own communities. "When we look at a new market like greater Cleveland and Avon in particular having new employers means that there will be new people moving to the area," she said. "An architect, or an engineer, or a general contractor will be looking for a place to stay while they work on a project. We offer a very affordable rate as an alternative to having to lease an apartment." ''

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Source: http://www.loraincounty.com

``This is good news. Note that this hotel is coming to Avon (like Petiti's) without an I-90 interchange at Nagel Rd., and without Tax Increment Financing that would deprive Avon of the income tax. The only publicly stated infra-structure reason for a business coming to Avon in recent years has been the quality of our water.

If one-tenth the effort expended on fostering land speculation on Nagel Rd. were pumped into the SR 611 -- I-90 interchange, Avon would have much more commerce and industry than it does now. After all, there are already 5 lanes on SR 611 in the the vicinity; and no taxpayer dollars are required as there would be to trash Detroit Rd. and Nagel Rd. in East Avon.

Why hasn't our government taken step to make it easy for traffic coming north on Case Rd. to reach the SR 611 -- I-90 interchange? Development around this interchange should be encouraged.''

Written by: Oldtimer on March 16, 2007

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``I think the recreation complex is a good idea -- there are 5 lanes on SR 611 at I 90. However, as others have pointed out, the City of Avon should exercise extreme caution in signing any contracts with the Frontier League and the YMCA, both of which have demonstrated a willingness to pack up and leave on short notice, leaving behind empty Y's and stadiums. These contracts should be made public before the election in 11-07.''

Written by Oldtimer on March 31, 2007

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NEWS ARTICLE from The Morning Journal, 4-10-07, by ALEX M. PARKER, Morning Journal Writer

``Foreclosure rates on the rise in first quarter '07

ELYRIA -- So far this year, foreclosures are up in Lorain County -- and not just in areas such as Lorain and Elyria. Avon, Avon Lake, North Ridgeville and Oberlin all saw sharp increases in the number of home foreclosures during the first quarter of 2007, according to Lorain County Clerk of Courts Ron Nabakowski.

In the first quarter of 2006, there were 448 foreclosures processed in the county. In the first quarter of 2007, there were 627 foreclosures -- an increase of 40 percent ... In 2006, the clerk's office processed 1,930 foreclosures -- a record year. But Nabakowski said the county is on track to easily eclipse that record, and process more than 2,500 foreclosures ...

Avon Lake had only 14 foreclosures in the first quarter of 2006, but had 34 foreclosures in the same period this year ...

Oberlin, with a population of only 8,280, saw foreclosures rise from 13 to 42 in the first quarter ...

North Ridgeville saw an increase from 29 foreclosures in the first quarter of 2006 to 51 foreclosures in the first quarter of 2007 ...

Avon had 11 foreclosures in the first quarter of 2006, but had 17 foreclosures in the first quarter of 2007.

Sheffield Lake had 23 foreclosures for the quarter in both years, and LaGrange, Grafton and Vermilion all saw slight decreases.

Lorain and Elyria both had increases, and continue to lead the county in the number of foreclosures. Lorain had 155 foreclosures in the first quarter of 2006, and 218 foreclosures in 2007. Elyria had 108 foreclosures in the first quarter of 2006, and 135 in the first quarter of 2007 ...''

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NEWS ARTICLE from The Morning Journal, 4-13-07, By MEGAN KING, Morning Journal Writer

[Ron Larson steps forward to save the Avon Center School]

``AVON -- Developer Greg Romes [has requested] a demolition permit for the 1910 schoolhouse at 35955 Detroit Road ... but Olde Avon Village owner Ron Larson said he has a back-up plan to save the historic building.

The city and Romes have been locked into a legal battle over zoning of property at SR 83 and Detroit Road, the locaiton of the schoolhouse. Romes hopes to build a shopping center on the approximately 25 acres.

Romes had taken a proposal to tear down the schoolhouse to Avon's Landmarks Preservation Commission Wednesday [4-11-07], but the action was pulled from the agenda [at Romes' request], Avon Historical Society President Jack Smith said.

Planning Coordinator Jim Piazza said the Commission has six months from the time of the application [2-15-07] to work with the applicant. If no agreement is reached after six months, the Commission is required to give its OK to the building department to issue a demolition permit ...

Larson plans to go before Avon Planning Commission next week [4-18-07] with a request to relocate the schoolhouse to Olde Avon Village ...

The Avon Center School was built in 1910 in what was then Avon Township, Smith said. It served as a one room school house until 1924 when it was converted to a home.

Romes filed a lawsuit against the city last September [2006] when City Council denied a request to rezone the [back 13 acres of the] property [adjoining Bentley Park] for commercial use. The Planning Commission had approved it. The lawsuit claims the city's action was an illegal taking of his property and the city should pay him $5 million ... Romes did not return a call for comment yesterday.''

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NEWS ARTICLE from The Morning Journal, 4-19-07, by MEGAN KING, Morning Journal Writer

``AVON -- A plan to potentially authorize cell phone towers on Mills Road near French Creek got a bad reception from some neighbors who went to a public hearing before Avon Planning Commission last night [4-18-07].

Verizon has expressed interest in placing a cellular tower at the 29-acre water conservation area on Mills Road. Residents asked how their property values would be affected by the tower and said they did not want it so close to their homes ...

In other business, developer Greg Romes received approval of site plans from Avon Planning Commission last night for part of his property at SR 83 and Detroit Road, which is expected to include a bank and a small strip center.

Romes has plans to build a shopping center on 25 acres there, but City Council has approved only 12 acres for commercial zoning at the southeast corner of Detroit Road and SR 83. After the full request was denied by Council, Romes filed a lawsuit last January [2006] against the city.

Piazza emphasized that the commission was approving only a general layout for the area, City Centre I, not specific plans ...

The Planning Commission also voted to recommend to council approval of the proposed roadway improvements for the right of way to City Centre I. The Commission recommended that Council require another traffic evaluation after one year of full occupancy to see if a traffic light is warranted, and if so, the developer should help finance it.

Planning Commission also approved a change to the ... plan of Olde Avon Village to accommodate the Old Avon Schoolhouse [Avon Center School], which might be relocated from its current site at 35955 Detroit Road. The schoolhouse is currently located on the property where Romes plans to build a shopping center, and he has said he will demolish it if an agreement is not reached in his dispute with the city. Olde Avon Village owner Ron Larson hopes to relocate the schoolhouse to Olde Avon Village if an agreement is not reached.''

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NEWS ARTICLE from The Morning Journal, 4-18-07, by MEGAN KING, Morning Journal Writer

[A school (and sewers) on Long Road?]

``AVON -- Sixteen acres between Long and Stoney Ridge roads could one day be the site of a new elementary school for the west side of Avon.

Developer Jim Gamellia is scheduled to make an informal presentation of plans to build a 40 home subdivision on about 25 acres in that area, according to paperwork submitted to the city Planning Commission. Talk around City Hall is the school district is considering nearby land for a future elementary school.

Superintendent Jim Reitenbach confirmed yesterday the school district is looking at property in that area, but nothing has been finalized and the district is not sure when it might need to add an additional school building ...

Avon has a renewal operating levy on the May 8 [2007] ballot ...''

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On 5-8-07 the Avon Board of Education will ask the voters to approve 1.8 mills of real estate tax:

LETTER to the Editor of The Press, 1-18-06, by Taylor J. Smith

``... Building a bus garage at Heritage North on Detroit Rd. [has wasted] valuable land which [could have been used] to provide more schools for Avon's rapidly growing population.

It is rumored that the BOE will buy Long Rd. land where, because of a previous use, a local sewage treatment facility can not be built. So the residents will be forced to pay expensive frontage assessments for a sewer line. Is the purpose of the sewer line to open up Long Rd. for massive housing developments?

It is bad enough that the quality of life in Avon is deteriorating. To be asked to pay more taxes to aid this down-slide is outrageous.''

Taylor J. Smith, Avon

After publication of the above letter, the School Board President said that the School Board had no intention of building a school on Long Road. For more, see "the developers are seeking approval from the county health department" -- denied because the land had been stripped down to bedrock?

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NEWS ARTICLE from The Morning Journal, 11-2-06, by MEGAN KING, Morning Journal Writer

``Avon legal fees higher than most districts

AVON -- Construction projects, ... and other factors have caused Avon Local Schools to spend nearly $500,000 on outside legal counsel in the past three school years, according to district Treasurer Kent Zeman.

The high legal fees are part of the school district's growth, according to Avon Local Schools Superintendent Jim Reitenbach ...

The district has spent $183.44 per student in the last three years based on the average student enrollment during the past three school years. Similarly-sized districts in the area, such as Avon Lake and Vermilion, have spent less than $100 per student on legal fees in the past three years, according to figures provided by the districts' treasurers.

From July 2003 through June 2006, Avon schools spent $422,203.17 on contract negotiations, including contracts with architects for projects and employee contracts. This category also includes legal defense, such as due process hearings involving special education students, according to Zeman.

A total of $30,171.50 was spent in the same time period for property valuation work, and $33,733.51 on language for ballots including levies and bond issues, Zeman said.

Zeman said the district spent about $41,000 litigating against Avon City Council about constructing a bus garage at the Heritage schools complex ...'' out of a total legal expense during the past three years of $557,153

$1,300,000 for the BUS PALACE

+ $500,000 Legal Costs

= $1,800,000 BLOWN!

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Source: http://www.loraincounty.com

School location

Just a thought for Avon, why not locate the new west side school at Veterans Park (property that the city owns) and move the rec fields to the old flyash site on colorado & miller roads. Scrap the baseball stadium idea. [There are sanitary sewers already available in the vicinity of Veterans Memorial Park.]

Written by: birdman on April 24, 2007

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Re: School location

You can't do that -- Oldtimer already working on the affect that the high voltage wires are going to have on the students waiting on the idling school buses

Written by: rememberwhen on April 24, 2007

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Re: School location

The word is "effect", not affect".

A baby gets many times the electro - magnetic radiation pressing his mouth against a tv than he would crawling under the wires. Putting the school at Veterans Memorial Park should be explored, but there is no conflict with the entertainment complex on SR 611 -- lots of room for ball fields in the 120 acres.

Standing by a running microwave oven or using a cell phone is far riskier than living under high tension wires.

Arrogantly letting diesel exhaust blow into a school -- I suppose some would find that funny; they would probably laugh at their grandma falling down the steps.

Written by: Oldtimer on April 24, 2007

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Re: School location

... The cost was higher than necessary due to architectural "French Creek" [desires], so my tax dollars ill-spent. Then the legal actions that were coordinated between the developer across the street and the BOE against the city. But then, NONE of this was ever about building a BUS PALACE; it was about a coordinated approach to cracking the zoning code.

Between the BOE's legal costs of $40,000 and the defense costs incurred by the city -- again my tax dollars ill-spent ...

There was NO forum for the public to be educated and informede, a vetting process if you will so that the health risks, REAL OR PERCEIVED, could be discussed openly. Again the report from Chemical Risk Management expressing health concerns for the children was swept under the rug.Again, ARROGANCE on the part of the Avon BOE!

Let me ask you this; look at the legal action against Sherwin Williams for health risks related to lead paint that has not been manufactured in well over thirty years. Will we the taxpayers be footing the legal bills in years to come if it is determined that the location of the Bus Palace contributed to respiratory ills of the students. READ THE REPORT!!!

[The School Board will be sued (as will the City for failing to enforce the zoning law). Both should make sure they have credit available to borrow the money to pay the judgements.]

On another note, people living near Mills Road may be looking at a cell tower that Verizon wants to build on the wetlands off of Mills Road. This is supposedly to deal with a "dead spot" on 83 near Mills. I have Verizon and find NO dead spots in Avon. On the other hand Avon Lake is a total dead spot for almost all cell phones including Verizon.

But I digress. Read the Press today [4-25-07] and pay close attention to resident complaints about the cell tower near a residential area and then pay close attention to the ARROGANT rebuttals of your Planning Coordinator.

Ya know, the whole problem with this town is that you have about twelve people who always get their way and shove things down people's throats for personal financial gain. The Avon BOE is VERY much a part of that agenda as well as many at city hall.

Written by: Avon Eagle on April 25, 2007

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Re: School location

If the schools are used to advance various real estate projects such as rezoning Detroit Rd. to commercial and putting sanitary sewers on Long Rd., both our quality of life and the quality of our kids' education will deteriorate. Just because the school board has money to burn should not generate feelings of arrogant omnipotence in the members of the school board and the administration.

Written by: Oldtimer on April 26, 2007

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