Avon Growth News, 2-16-00 to Present

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2-16-01 Could commuter rail service affect Avon's Master Thoroughfare Plan?
3-14-01 Bus service for Avon
4-6-01 Third I-90 lane to SR-611
4-20-01 Avon Commons expands
4-22-01 `Yes' to Avon library renewal levy
5-1-01 LCT bus routes in Avon
5-2-01 New road between Jaycox and SR-83?
5-30-01 Red Tail liquor license
6-10-01 deviating down
6-20-01 Hickory Inn

LETTER to the EDITOR of THE CLEVELAND FREE TIMES, 8-3-00,

"I'll take the sprawl

The loss of perspective is not a surprise (Interview, July 19, 2000). The previous social critics (prominently, Lincoln Steffens), addressing issues of population density, decried "The Shame of the Cities" for their squalor and sardine-like overcrowding, describing them as soulless and dehumanizing.

In the years since, Americans have fulfilled Steffens' enlightened vision, creating suburbs with lawns and trees, space to breathe, and for kids to play.

The social critics of today, such as Josh Greene, decry this as "vicious sprawl." Given the choice, I'll take Greene's "vicious sprawl" over ... tenements any day. Better yet, he can buy my property in St. Hyacinthe, with the back yard depth of four feet, and the side yard width of three feet.

Forget not, also, what the farmers did to arrive at their agrarian splendor -- they destroyed the forests ..."

Mike Kole, Cleveland

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NEWS ARTICLE from THE CHRONICLE TELEGRAM, 2-02-01, By Melissa Dittman

"AVON - ... The Planning Commission voted Wednesday [1-31-01] to make a recommendation to Council that the city's Master Thoroughfare Plan needs to be ... studied and a consultant needs to be hired ...

Council will be discussing the recommendation at its meeting Monday [2-5-01] ...

With two differing traffic studies [one approved by USR who was paid by the City of Avon and the other, also by USR, paid for by Jacobs], [Avon Planning Commission Chairman James] Piazza said it's time the city hires its own consultant ..."

NEWS ARTICLE from THE MORNING JOURNAL, 2-2-01, By CRAIG RIMLINGER, Morning Journal Writer

``AVON -- ... [Planning] Commission member Paul Burik ... The money would be used to hire a consultant who would work with the city to develop the parameters of a thoroughfare review, Burik said ...

Commission chairman Jim Piazza concurred with Burik. "We need to hire an expert, a traffic engineer, to help us with the scope ..." ''

NEWS ARTICLE from THE MORNING JOURNAl, 2-14-01, By SARAH FENSKE, Morning Journal Writer

"LORAIN -- A public hearing ... [2-15-01] at 7 p.m. will give residents a chance to learn about a commuter rail line planned from Lorain to Cleveland to Mantua ... "

See Full Story

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NEWS ARTICLE from THE PRESS, 3-14-01, By Ron Flechtner

``AVON -- Public transportation through Avon is nearly a reality, according to the executive director of Lorain County Transit, ... [a] new bus service [is] slated to begin before May 1 [2001].

"All I have to do is establish the times the bus service will run," Transit head Debbie Mohr said ...

Mohr said she is looking at a route traveling along Moore and Chester roads as well as Pin Oak Parkway. She said the new service would also serve as a connector with an existing Avon Lake route to primarily serve seniors who want to travel between the two communities.

There are also plans to extend the route to Park-N-Ride locations in Cuyahoga County ...

The fixed route will be less costly for us, Mohr said ... In the past, riders used Dial-A-Ride when they needed transportation to and from the Avon area. Mohr said the service will still be available, but the new route will lessen the need for the call-in transportation.

Mohr admits that the biggest demand for transportation is from workers who need to get to work in Avon and back home again ...

Avon mayor Jim Smith concurred with Mohr about the impact [public] transportation could have on the city.

"We have had a little difficulty with filling positions here in industry because transportation has been a problem," Smith said ...

The mayor said that he sees up to 32,000 employees working in the industries of Avon in the distant years ahead and upwards of 50,000 within a two or three mile radius if you consider Avon Lake.

"We feel the bus service is going to be a great opportunity to enhance transportation not only for shoppers but for workers," Robyn Cardaman, the property management director of Avon Commons said.

The shopping center on Detroit Road is springing to life with 15 stores to open initially, including Target and World Market which have opened for business in just the last week.

"Our stores have a number of high school-aged employees who don't have transportation," Cardaman said. "We are looking to coordinate the new bus route so that our employees can get to and from work to open and close the stores."

"And we are hoping that the new route will be able to drop off shoppers every hour," added Cardaman, whose company developed and manages the new shopping center.

Theresa Brixius, communication manager for Manco, Inc., in Avon, said her company of 500 employees is very much in favor of the bus route ... ''

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NEWS ARTICLE from THE MORNING JOURNAL, 4-6-01, By CRAIG RIMLINGER, Morning Journal Writer

``AVON -- Details on construction of the remaining segment of a third lane for I-90 between the SR 611 interchange and Cuyahoga County were announced yesterday ...

By the time work is completed in August 2002, the third-lane segment will be added, the SR 611 interchange ramps will be widened, the bridge over French Creek will be widened and rehabilitated, and the entire stretch will be resurfaced.

As part of a separate project, construction has already started on a third lane for the stretch of I-90 in Cuyahoga County between Columbia Road and the existing but unused third-lane segment starting at the Lorain County line.

When both projects are completed around November 2002, the third lane will be opened to traffic, according to state highway officials, and I-90 will have three lanes running both east and west all the way from SR 611 to Columbia Road and on toward Cleveland.

Highway department officials said no planning has been done for extending a third lane west from SR 611 ...

The existing third lane of I-90 in Lorain County has not been used since it was completed in November 1998. That project began in June 1997 ... ''

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NEWS ARTICLE from THE SUN, 4-12-01, By JOHN STEBBINS, Staff Writer

``AVON - Rezoning for the final part of Avon Commons was approved ... [on 4-9-01]

City Council approved 5-2 the rezoning of an additional 17 acres to the development, in which stores are open or in the process of opening. [Negative votes were cast by Joanne Easterday and David Kaiser]

Councilwoman at large Joanne Easterday claimed the rezoning could lead to massive problems if owners of other properties on Detroit Road want them rezoned from residential to commercial designation ...

However, Tom Wearsch, City Council's representative to the Planning Commission, which unanimously approved the rezoning, said future rezonings aren't a sure thing.

"I think that, with cases we've won in the past about rezoning properties, we can stop development down Detroit Road," Wearsch said. "Just because someone applies for it doesn't mean they're going to get it."

Mitchell Schneider of First Interstate Properties Ltd., the firm developing Avon Commons, confirmed this will be the last part of the development.

"The way the building will be laid out gives a feeling of closure to the center," Schneider said ... ''

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LETTER TO THE EDITOR of THE PLAIN DEALER, 4-20-01, By HEIDI A. LUFFRED

`` `Yes' to Avon library renewal levy

I encourage the citizens of Avon to vote yes for the Avon Library Renewal Levy, Issue 2.

By supporting this levy, we will continue the wonderful programs, services and materials that our library provides. This is an asset to our community and benefits young and old alike.

Since this is a renewal levy, it will not increase taxes.

Without the renewal, all materials, services and staff would be affected.

In order for Avon to remain an attractive, progressive community, it is essential that we have a properly equipped and staffed public library. Preserving the quality of our city infrastructure is essential for the development of our young people and for maintaining and enhancing our property. ''

HEIDI A. LUFFRED, Avon

LETTER TO THE EDITOR of THE PRESS, 5-2-01, By Nancy Huller

Yes on Issue 2

To the Editor:

My two children have enjoyed the services of the public library since they were old enough to sit and listen to preschool story time.

Over the years we have benefited so much from our access to books, magazines, CDs, summer reading programs, and all the help the librarians have provided whenever the children were researching a topic for their school work.

And now we are being asked to renew an operating levy for the Avon Branch Library. This levy will not raise my taxes, and it will allow my family to continue to enjoy the full services that the Avon Branch provides us -- convenient hours, plenty of new books and materials, and a helpful, knowledgeable staff.

Voting for this levy is what I call a no-brainer. Of course we want the Avon Branch Library to be able to continue to offer all the wonderful services that this operating levy allows them to offer.

Vote Yes to the Avon Branch Library Renewal Levy, Issue #2.

Nancy Huller, Avon

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NEWS ARTICLE from THE MORNING JOURNAL, 5-1-01, By RYAN CORNELL, Morning Journal Writer

``Three new transit routes announced

AVON -- Three new routes to help residents get to and from work in the Avon and Avon Lake areas were announced yesterday by Lorain County Transit, plus a new route to a Westlake park-and-ride lot connecting with Cleveland.

The routes, to begin operating May 7, will be funded with $561,000 approved by the Lorain County Commissioners in February.

''These new routes are a step in our improving transportation throughout Lorain County,'' said LCT General Manager Debbie Mohr. ''We knew there was a need in the northeast part of the county.''

Route 55, which will provide service within Avon and Avon Lake, will travel between areas such as Avon Commons, Avon Lake Center and the Avon Lake Public Library between 6:51 a.m. and 4:26 p.m.

It serves as a circulator and connects with LCT Route 3, which runs from Lorain County Community College in Elyria, north on Abbey Road and west on East Erie Avenue into Sheffield Lake.

The [Route 55] connection point [with LCT Route 3] is at Abbey Road and U.S. 6. [Lake Rd.]

Route 61, which will run from 5:30 a.m. to 8:05 a.m. and from 3:50 p.m. to 6:28 p.m., will provide a way for residents in southern parts of Lorain County to travel to Avon and Avon Lake. It will serve areas including Manco and Pin Oak Parkway. Route 61 originates at the Griswold Road transfer point.

Route 62 will operate from 5:15 a.m. to 8 a.m. and from 3:35 p.m. to 5:50 p.m. and will service the Colorado Industrial Park, Lorain; Moore Road, Chester Road, Pin Oak Parkway and Manco in Avon. [Route 62 originates at the Meridian Plaza (off 5th St.) in Lorain.

The three routes have been especially designed for workers commuting to and from work, said Mohr ...

Additionally, LCT will add a route it calls Westlake Express, said Mohr.

The route provides service for work trips into downtown Cleveland and provides a connection with the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority's buses, she said.

The Westlake Express route, Route 70, will run from 5:32 a.m. to 8:10 a.m. and from 4:35 p.m. to 7:23 p.m. and will service the RTA's Westlake Park-N-Ride lot near the Columbia Road interchange on I-90. It also stops at the Route 83/I-90 park-and-ride lot [north side of I-90 on what was to be the relocation of SR-83 into Avon Lake]. Route 70 originates at the Griswold Road transfer point ... ''

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NEWS ARTICLE from THE PRESS, 5-2-01, By Mike Ferrari

``Landowner possibly opening up industrial corridor for new hospital

AVON -- A recent conference was held between Avon Planning Commission Chairman Jim Piazza, Councilman Tom Wearsch, Council President Shaun Brady, City Engineer Mike Bramhall and representatives for Don Brown ...

Brown's representatives openly discussed the possibility of building a new road that would connect Jaycox with SR-83 expanding the possibilities with the M1 - M3 (research and development) zoned land. Brown owns 200 acres of land along Chester and I-90 ...

Speculation about the land being earmarked for a new location for a large prominent medical facility has not been confirmed ... ''

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NEWS ARTICLE from THE PRESS, 5-30-01, By Mike Ferrari

``Red Tail's pursuit of a liquor license draws concerns from council members

AVON -- The Red Tail Golf Club in Avon recently requested a liquor permit that needs to be approved by council and the Ohio Division of Liquor Control before the club can begin to serve alcoholic beverages.

... several council members raised numerous concerns over the issuance of the permit to Red Tail ...

Avon Council President Shaun Brady said he is concerned about the guidelines that will be established regarding the liquor permit and whether golfers will be granted access to the course with alcoholic beverages ...

"We will collectively make a decision on whether we will withdraw our request for a public hearing," Brady said. "It's not mandatory to have a hearing but the Ohio Division of Liquor Control must notify us of any applications."

"There could be carts passing through city right-of-ways, open containers, and they would be in a high density development. We are trying to figure out how it will affect the residents. We are trying to keep everyone aware of what is happening."

Because the Red Tail subdivision is heavily populated with homes that abut the golf course, questions about alcohol being allowed on the course were raised. Other concerns were raised about golf carts passing along the roadways causing the need for safety observance ...

"I think the big question is whether alcohol will be permitted on the course or not," [Avon Mayor Jim] Smith said. "Having owned a golf course in the past, I assume that the clubhouse will furnish alcoholic beverages for various outings but I am, as well as council, concerned about alcohol being on the course."

The front-nine and the back-nine holes of the golf course are divided by Nagel Road. Developers at Red Tail have constructed a tunnel that provides for safe passage under the road, but several council members have noticed people crossing the road in their golf carts.

Councilman Jack Kilroy voiced the same concerns as Mayor Smith and noted that he would need additional information before making a decision about the liquor permit.

"Mr. Khouri needs to provide more information on his intentions for a liquor license," Kilroy said, referencing Red Tail developer Dr. Rustom Khouri. "Unlike other sites, Red Tail winds through neighborhoods where children live. Do we want cocktail gulping golfers motoring by kids at play?" ...

"The major concern that I had was that I hope, and think, that there should be more input from the residents about the permit," [Councilman Tim] Nickum said.

"I don't have anything against a golf course having a liquor permit, but Red Tail is a unique situation with all of the housing and residents in the area, and it would be wise to have all of the concerns raised at the public hearing."

Avon Council has not set a date for a public hearing, but further discussion on the issue will be held on June 4 at their work session meeting.''

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A HEADLINE from LETTERS to the Editor of THE PLAIN DEALER, 6-10-01:

``Without careful planning, sprawl brings dire consequences ''

COLUMN from THE PLAIN DEALER, 6-10-01, By Beth Barber

Beth Barber is an associate editor of The Plain Dealer's editorial pages.

``A crime problem in the city? You bet

While residents of the suburbs slept snug in their beds in the wee hours of Tuesday, June 5, secure in the knowledge that residents of Cleveland greatly exaggerate city crime, arsonists set fire to a shed, then burned up two garages and the cars in them in Ohio City.

Ohio City is in Cleveland's Ward 14. During the week that ended Sunday, June 3, according to figures kept by James A. Butler, City Council's security officer, offenders committed 154 crimes in Ward 14.

The FBI will include 63 of them in its Uniform Crime Report of homicides, rapes, robberies, felonious assaults, some larcenies and auto theft. The incidence of those crimes has been declining, or at least leveling off.

The FBI will not include the other 91 crimes in Ward 14 that week ...

[Nor] the 1,172 similar crimes committed citywide that week, out of a total 1,975.

But these are the crimes that drive neighborhoods nuts ...

These are the crimes that, if anything, are understated.

Ohio City residents don't always call police to roust the bums, their liquor bottles and too often their hookers of choice out of public alleys, private garages and back yards. The cops get there too late.

They seldom call about

They don't call about But Ohio City has just rediscovered the danger in what former Sen. Pat Moynihan calls "deviating down," an incremental slide down a slippery slope of standards that tolerates litter, then graffiti, then theft, especially if it's drug-driven.

And that slide invites an escalation of crime, as criminologist James Q. Wilson postulates in his "broken window" theory: One broken window left unrepaired signals a neighborhood's slide into slum.

The regrettable fact that the FBI doesn't include these misdemeanors in the national crime statistics hardly makes them insignificant ...

They are, in fact, the crimes that DRIVE FROM THE CITY people who haven't been driven out by the schools, the blight, the wasted tax millions, the even more wasted lives.

These are the crimes pooh-poohed by ... suburbanites, all-wise in the ways of a world they wouldn't inhabit for free heat and an SUV.

In the 'burbs, errant baseballs break more windows than burglars' tools. Repairs involve glass, not cardboard. The green, green grass of Home Depot, not litter, lines the streets. Neighbors swap plants rather than swiping them. A drug deal is cadging Allegra from next door until you can get to Target ... ''

E-mail: bbarber@plaind.com

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NEWS ARTICLE from The PRESS, 6-20-01, By Mike Ferrari

``AVON -- Discount Drug Mart was in so much of a hurry to build their store in Avon that they waited for almost two years.

The group owns property on the corner of Detroit and Lear-Nagel Roads in Avon where the Hickory Inn currently sits.

With plans dating back to almost two years ago, Discount Drug Mart has waited out the potential problems with Avon codes as they have recently been changed.

The waiting game also provided Bill Kaplysh, owner of the Hickory Inn some needed time to consider his options, or lack there of, with the property he was leasing from the corporation.

Kaplysh said he has been given documentation that states the exact time lines when the business will be moving on the property, and subsequently destroying the Hickory Inn.

July 28 [2001] is the last call, an obviously dejected Kaplysh said about the Hickory Inn. I'm sorry to go and Avon was real good to me. It was a pleasure to have had a business in this city. I've enjoyed everyone I've met in this town ...

Hickory Inn
Hickory Inn, at one time, a winery

In late May of 2000, Discount Drug Mart was granted approval to build a 19,990 square-foot building along with two other adjacent structures that were going to be available for new retailers.

When Avon Planning Commission approved the site plans for the new Drug Mart, Kaplysh had already been established on the location for over ten years and claimed that he had a signed contract from the organization.

The contract, according to Kaplysh stated that the Hickory Inn was supposed to be included in the new facility that was going to be built with their drug store.

Another one of Kaplysh s claims was that he was the rightful owner of a sewer system that he paid for and installed when he first signed the lease agreement. Documentation at Avon City Hall supports his claim.

Because the Environmental Protection Agency wrote him a letter that stated he was required to improve the sewer system before occupying the land, he built a $30,000 filtration system.

Kaplysh said the reason he agreed to build the filtration system was because he was led to believe that he would be part of the new Drug Mart facility when it was built.

According to Kaplysh, the Hickory Inn would have been torn down but a new bar would be built located next to the new Drug Mart facility.

Following the approval process, the Hickory Inn stayed open and Drug Mart allowed the project to die.

Because the building contract expired with the city, Drug Mart had to re-file their plans with Avon Planning Commission.

Tonight's meeting [6-20-01] will be the first time Discount Drug Mart has appeared on a planning commission agenda for over a year.

Bill Malin, vice president of real estate for Discount Drug Mart said the group is excited about finally starting the project ...

According to Malin, the primary reason that the store was not built was due to restrictions in planning commission codes that did not allow them to build a typical store.

The 24,000 square-foot building could house an estimated 50 employees and Malin said that despite the plethora of drug stores already open in the area, he feels the new store will be successful ... ''

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