Avon Growth News, 5-1-05 to 6-30-05

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5-18-05 Saving the George Clifton Barn

5-18-05 Appeals court overturns ruling

5-26-05 How many children will storing busses at Heritage North make sick?

6-14-05 Council Votes No

6-17-05 Duct Tape Festival Schedule

6-20-05 Schneider Court ready for asphalt

6-22-05 Williams House plans approved

6-30-05 Best Buy, Henkel, and Chester Rd. Square

6-30-05 Avon is growing fast

From Parade Magazine, 4-17-05

"There are hundreds of sites around this country waiting to be rediscovered, preserved and treasured," says Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel. "Why get involved? Landmark preservation improves the well-being of a community. It brings people together. It nurtures civic concern and pride. When you find out that history unfolded just around the corner, it really connects us to our collective past."

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NEWS ARTICLE from The Press, 5-18-05, By Julie A. Short

``AVON -- Little by little, Olde Avon Village (36840 Detroit Road) developer, Ron Larson is preserving history through his project that provides a sanctuary of historic buildings to be converted into thriving retail establishments. Over the last three years, Larson has moved an 1847 house across town and a century-old barn across the state ...

Greg Romes (owner of Lake Pointe Construction) has donated the George Clifton barn to the Avon Historical Society, Larson said. "I'm in the process of putting together a plan to save the barn and move it to the Village."

Romes could not be reached for comment. He currently owns the former George Clifton house where his business, Lake Pointe Construction, as well as two others are located (36368 Detroit Road, across from the Misencik Funeral Home).

"We are currently seeking funds to move the barn, Larson said. Because of the barns stone wall base, it will have to be lifted, much like the Lewis Home we moved a few years ago. We could possibly take sections off the barn and reassemble it on the stone wall once they are moved. Its going to take a while. This project is in its initial phases."

According to data collected by Avon Historical Society member Jean Fischer, the George Clifton barn was probably built sometime between 1843-1848, along with the house on the property.

Clifton came to Avon from England in 1831. He was a former Lorain County commissioner, county auditor and also worked as a justice of the peace. He was a very well-respected man in the community, Fischer said. At the time of the Civil War, he was responsible for procuring soldiers.

The barn is one of the last remaining century-old barns left in Avon. According to Fischer, a rash of barn burnings occurred in the late 1970s and early 1980s as approximately four barns were vandalized and burned to the ground. Law enforcement never caught the person(s) responsible.

"We're delighted Mr. Romes has offered the barn, Fischer said. It is also nice that he has his office in the old house. By moving the barn, we continue to preserve Avon. We (Fischers) started Olde Avon Village and I'm glad Ron has done such a great job with it."

Larson's current Village project is the now under construction of a 7,200-sq.-ft. building that could house up to six tenants. Arkinetics (Lorain) designed the plans for the new building, which will be constructed with a variety of older materials.

One section of the building will be designed to look like a blacksmith shop, Larson said back in November 2004. Another will resemble an old market with awnings and one might be fashioned to look like an old newspaper office or bank building.

Three tenants have already been named for the new structure. The Hen in the Ivy is a full-service, retail florist shop that will offer fresh and silk floral arrangements for special events, weddings, holidays and any other floral needs. The shop will be the only Teleflora service florist in Avon ...

Donned in an English country garden motif, the store will feature flowers and related materials including wreaths, garland, swags, garden ornamentation, decorative items and potpourri. Daniels will also teach flower arranging and wreath making classes, as well as Tole and decorative painting.

Lori and Steve Miles, owners of Details...Gifts from the Heart and Home (located in the Village) are expecting in the fall. Expecting a new store that is. The Littlest Details is a new boutique that will offer maternity clothing and accessories, as well as clothing and necessities for children ...

The Pear Tree Gallery (formerly The Loft, located atop French Creek Fiber Arts in the Village) will be setting up shop in the new structure once its complete sometime in the fall.

Pear Tree Gallery is a mutant of an artistsā co-op, owner and Avon resident Liz Adamson said. Local and regional artists rent space and are able to surround their work with other fine art and fine craft pieces ...

Larson is currently seeking donations for the move of the Clifton barn. An account has been set up at the Lorain National Bank branch at 2100 Center Road in Avon (near the corner of SR 83 and Detroit Road). Make checks payable to the George Clifton Barn. The Avon Historical Society is also accepting the donations.

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NEWS ARTICLE from The Press, 5-18-05, By Julie A. Short

``Appeals court overturns ruling for proposed cluster development

AVON -- South Park Ltd partner Gary Smitek scored a major victory in his quest to build a cluster subdivision (Kenwyn Village) in Avon. A decision by a local judge to uphold city council's denial of the development was overturned by the state's Ninth District Court of Appeals on May 4. The ruling means that the issue will fall back on the original trial court ...

The subdivision issue, dating back to the fall of 2003, began with Smitek coming before the city's planning commission with plans for Kenwyn Village. The plans were modified several types to meet city requirements, as laid out by the commission.

However, when the proposal was submitted to city council, the members voted 6-1 to deny approval of the subdivision. In support of its denial, council members noted that the development did not meet the green space requirements of the applicable city zoning ordinance and was not in the best interest of the city, according to court documents. The record reflects that the green space requirement had previously been reviewed by Michael Bramhall, a consulting engineer for the city, and approved.

South Park appealed the decision of council to the Lorain County Court of Common Pleas. In support of its appeal, South Park supplemented the trial court record with numerous exhibits, including minutes from council meetings and correspondence between the parties. Ultimately, the trial court affirmed council's denial of South Park's application, without "articulating supporting rationale based upon the record before it." South Park timely appealed, raising one assignment of error.

According to court documents, the trial court erred in affirming the decision of city council, which denied approval of the final plat and subdivider's agreement for the Kenwyn Village Estates subdivision. The trial court erred for each of the following reasons:

The action of the city council was unlawful for the reasons that the final plat conformed in every aspect with the codified ordinances of the city of Avon; the action of council was unconstitutional in that it denied South Park the constitutionally-protected property right to devote property which conformed in every respect with codified ordinances of the city of Avon to use as permitted and finally; the action of the council is not supported by the preponderance of substantial, reliable and probative evidence on the whole record.

Rinker said that Smitek has originally proposed, and received approval to build duplexes in the subdivision, but upon request of the planning commission, the plan was altered to build the cluster models ...''

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NEWS ARTICLE from The Press, 5-4-05, By Julie A. Short

[How many children will storing busses at Heritage North make sick?]

``AVON -- As reported in The PRESS on Jan. 19, the Avon Local Schools are planning to build a bus garage and store the district's bus fleet on property west of Heritage North Elementary School. The proposal finally made its way on planning commission's agenda two weeks ago, and discussion continued during a special meeting of the commission on April 27 [2005].

Neighbors in the area are not pleased with the new location. Neither is Councilman Tim Nickum whose ward the school property sits in. "The people that know about it don't like it," Nickum said of the proposal. "I'm shocked and amazed that the school system is going ahead with this. I'm very much against this site."

Nickum also suggested an alternative solution that would have the city sell or lease 25 acres of property on Schneider Court to the school district, which the city owns and a new service garage is being built near ...

Currently, the buses are housed at the middle school located on Stoney Ridge [near Bauerdale] ... The new location would provide exit points at Detroit Road to the north and Bentley Park to the south ...

Donna D'Amico, marketing director for St. Mary of Woods retirement community currently under construction to the west, explained to planning commission that the fumes and unsightliness of a bus garage near their property could distract future residents from purchasing units at St. Mary's and may opt many to cancel deposits already made for units

The issue ultimately met with planning commission's approval with Nickum casting the lone no vote (planning commission member Jim Malloy was absent from both meetings).

Members of council had their first opportunity to discuss the issue during Monday night's (May 2, 2005) work session.

Nickum offered another alternative for the school board to consider. "Why not consider taking the buses and dispersing them at the various schools,' he said. "That is an alternative you should consider."

According to Superintendent Jim Reitenbach, the suggestion sounds good on the surface, but would be a difficult alternative due to the fact that the equipment to start-up and heat the buses during the cold weather months is typically stored in a traditional bus garage area and if the buses were dispersed throughout the city, the district would incur additional costs to provide that equipment at the various locations.

Council members also questioned if planning commission looked at all questions raised in terms of buffering, alternative sites, etc. ...''

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EXCERPTS from the LorainCounty.com bus garage thread:

bus garage by Oldtimer, May 19, 2005 8:02 AM

School busses should not be stored at Heritage North. When these busses warm up in the morning, clouds of tiny particles from the diesel engines will fill the air. These tiny particles have been shown to be the cause of the asthma epidemic which is sweeping the country. These particles also cause lung cancer. The life of just one Avon student is worth more than any financial saving from storing the busses at Heritage North.

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bus garage by Oldtimer on May 20, 2005 7:54 AM

I've heard that the City is willing to lease to the School Board all the land that it needs for the bus garage and storing all the busses on Schneider Court in the industrial area for $1 per year.

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bus garage by Oldtimer on May 21, 2005 7:36 AM

Bus drivers returning at night can call for a police escort on their cell phones. Schneider Court is probably a better dispersal point for the busses because they can turn east at Chester and SR83 and cross I90 at Jaycox or Nagel; those going west can go west on Chester to SR611; those going straight south can cross I90 at SR83. In 2006, Detroit Rd. will be torn up from SR83 to SR611 -- a good idea to minimize bus traffic on Detroit Rd. next year.

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bus garage by Oldtimer on May 21, 2005 7:45 AM

The School Board plans to store 42 busses (with an Avon population of 15,000) at Heritage North in the near furture. About 21 of these busses will reach Jaycox and SR83 by going through Heritage South to Bentley -- which may turn out to have more in common with Bauerdale than beginning with the letter B. How many busses will be taking this route when Avon has a population of 60,000?

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bus garage by bill1351 on May 21, 2005 10:12 PM

A bus garage makes no sense next to a residential neighborhood like Bentley Park or a nice senior development like St Mary of the Woods. It belongs in an area of Avon with industrial/commercial zoning. No company in Avon would ever be permitted to put a garage like this in that area - why should the city or the school district get any special treatment??? If they allow this in, then I propose we just put a truck stop at the southwest corner of Detroit and 83!

Not to mention, if that bus garage is built to "look similar to the new fire station", it's a huge waste of money - they could build on Schneider and not have to match the building material and architectural style to that of the school, let alone worrying about buffering it from the neighboring property. Shouldn't there be a formal cost analysis of the different sites?

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bus garage by Oldtimer on May 22, 2005 9:39 AM

A good place to start reading about the disastrous effects of fine particles on the lungs of children is www.harvard-magazine.com/on-line/050543.html

``Researchers comparing air quality in six cities across the United States were stunned when their data showed that people living in cities with the dirtiest air died on average two years earlier than residents of cities with the cleanest air. The difference in death rates was linked to elevated levels of fine-particle pollution ...

Lung diseases like cancer, emphysema, fibrosis, and asthma are almost all initiated or aggravated by the inhalation of particles and gases, says center director Joseph Brain ..."Most large particles deposit in your nose," says Rick Rogers ...

Trapped in a mucus layer that lines the nose, trachea, and bronchi, they are carried up to the back of your throat on a moving carpet of mucus propelled by cilia pulsing a thousand times a minute. Then they are swallowed.

But fine particles reach the alveoli, where there is no mucus lining (which would impair gas exchange) ...''

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bus garage by bill1351 on May 23, 2005 9:15 AM

A bus garage does not belong in residential neighborhoods, plain and simple. If I owned a trucking company, would the city of Avon let me build a depot adjacent to Bentley Park where I could park and idle 40 semis every morning and afternoon? I don't think so! Why should the schools be any different?

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bus garage by bill1351 on May 23, 2005 6:04 PM

I have a question - where do the buses gas up at? Are there plans for a pump at the garage, and where would it be buried?

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bus garage by Oldtimer on May 24, 2005 9:39 AM

Here's a little more from www.harvard-magazine.com/on-line/050543.html

``If a mother and her seven-year-old child get a blast of diesel exhaust at a bus stop, the child's lungs will get a dose of particles two and a half times greater than the mother's, because the lungs of juveniles, who have a higher metabolism, are fully alveolated but have a smaller total volume ...''

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bus garage by Oldtimer on May 26, 2005 7:55 AM

Get some data! Run the busses in their current location (Stoney Ridge near Bauerdale); and measure the fine particle concentration. Remember, the busses will be stored west of Heritage North; and the generally westerly winds will blow the tiny particles into the school and then on to Stratford Village -- day after day. If the wind is from the southwest, the particles will blow into Avenbury (reducing property values in Avenbury as well as Stratford Village).

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bus garage by Oldtimer on May 27, 2005 8:23 AM

More from www.harvard-magazine.com/on-line/050543.html :

``[There was] ... a time when we thought we could define a level at which nobody would be adversely affected. But as we have become more sophisticated in our epidemiologic studies, it has become clear that this concept 'that there is a safe level at which you can protect everybody in the public against health effects' is not holding up. There are detectable health effects at even the lowest levels.''

This means that there will be some children who are at the edge of sickness just from going to and from school on the diesel bus; making them breathe particles from idling busses at Heritage North could be enough to push them over the edge.

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bus garage by lovelakeview on June 2, 2005 9:41 AM

I live in Avon Lake but my sister lives in Avon. The bus drivers are concerned about the remoteness of Schneider Court. They feel they can be attacked in the dark after a late bus trip like in winter after a sports event.

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bus garage by Oldtimer on June 3, 2005 8:23 AM

The proposed Schneider Court location is adjacent to Avon's new service center which will be staffed with city workers and plenty of security. Bus drivers returning late should use a cell phone to call for a police escort.

I'm sure that the bus drivers would agree that the kids come first; but the bus drivers have reason to be concerned about exposure to fine particles from diesel engines, especially since they will soon be required to drive a third route, increasing their exposure time by 50%. See www.news-medical.net/?id=8949 for a description of the diesel danger inside the school busses.

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bus garage by Oldtimer on June 4, 2005 7:54 AM

In addition to threatening the health of our children, tiny diesel particles from 42 busses idling at Heritage North also threaten property values in Stratford Village (wind from the west) and property values in Avenbury (wind from the southwest). If the School Board is allowed to blunder forward at Heritage North, word will get out about air quality in Stratford Village and Avenbury. If property values go down, so does the school tax revenue. Store the busses on Schneider Court -- Save lives and money!

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bus garage by rememberwhen on June 17, 2005 7:55 AM

... only (1) council person voted in favor of the bus facility at Heritage, .... It's a shame the school may have to go to the courts; wait until the real reasons the plan was voted down come out.

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bus garage by a voter on June 17, 2005 9:20 AM

Come now!!! Don't be so evasive. Tell us about the hidden agenda you speak of and "what the real reason" is. Please don't keep us all in the dark!

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bus garage by Oldtimer on June 18, 2005 8:27 AM

In regard to a hidden agenda -- and this is pure speculation -- do the developers of Heritage Village (Schafer and Gamellia) want a bus garage across the street from their proposed commercial rezoning because they would be able to argue in court that residential development near a bus garage is impossible?

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bus garage by bubbazap on June 25, 2005 9:31 AM

You are worried about the busses idling in the morning and the kids are not even there ... No one at the school would/should be affected in the morning.

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bus garage by Oldtimer on June 26, 2005 9:13 AM

The tiny particles of diesel pollution will accumulate in Heritage North. The kids will breathe them in when they get there. After they get off the busses at Heritage North, they will breathe in these deadly particles all day long, day after day, inside the school.

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bus garage by Oldtimer on June 27, 2005 7:39 AM

If the school board succeeds in trashing Detroit Rd. with a bus garage at Heritage North, the taxpayers of Avon will be at risk. How much will a court award for the treatment of a lifetime of asthma and for the pain and suffering of the child? The school board will not be able to plead ignorance.

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bus garage by justmyopinion on June 30, 2005 11:33 AM

As for the bus garage, do we really want big yellow buses in the FRONT of a school ruining the brand new beautiful landscape? Should buses really go in a residential area? MAYBE if there were no alternatives; but the city has offered to GIVE the school district land in several locations that would be far better for a bus garage.

I'm not of the mentallity that Avon shouldn't grow but I understand planning and the concept of "smart growth". Over saturating Detroit Rd. with commercial and changing the city plan in the middle of the game is not the way to accomplish this.

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NEWS ARTICLE from The Press, 6-1-05, By Beth Mlady

``AVON -- Cool breezes flowed through the open windows at Heritage North Elementary School's media center during a recent meeting [5-24-05] of Avon City Council and the Board of Education, but temperatures, and tempers, flared from tepid to hot as discussions between the two factions occurred regarding where to locate a proposed new bus garage.

A large contingent of bus drivers packed the room to capacity as did Carol Pickering of Pickering Hill Farm (whose land abuts the Heritage North site which the school board favors) and several Avon government officials, including Mayor James A. Smith.

Councilwoman JoAnne Easterday opened the session by emphasizing all parties' main concern. "The buses are transporting our most precious commodity, which is our children," she said. She added that "other schools have faced this challenge," and she presented information on the Westlake and Brecksville/Broadview Heights school districts.

Both districts located their new bus garages in rural areas. Westlake built its facility on a commercially-zoned plot while the other school used acreage at a completed landfill. City council supports building Avon's garage at Schneider Court (near the city's new service garage).

Angela Marsiglia, president of Avon's Board of Education, said ... the buses would continue to be refueled as they currently are at the middle school ... Current plans do not include enough space for parked cars at the Schneider Court site. Council members Easterday, Gentz, and Timothy Nickum agreed that such a problem had not been previously considered.

Gentz iterated that the "best use of taxpayer money is the site at Schneider Court" and said the congestion on Detroit Road cannot be alleviated but that any potential traffic snarls at Schneider could be handled through the installation of a traffic signal. Even though school bus departures are staggered throughout the morning, there are still 42 buses which need to travel in and out ... at some point on a daily basis.

Councilman Nickum lives on SR 83 and knows "first hand the congestion" on the road. He said that the new garage "will possibly be there for 50 years and, though the site sounds good now...in 10 to 15 years Heritage will be the worst site in the world...a real stinker." He then advised board members to "think about the future."

Council President Larry Hoekstra II made his feelings clear during the meeting. He said the option for "spreading out the buses between various locations is not a good idea" and that he "favors the Schneider Court location out of the three options previously submitted." Hoekstra added that council may "eventually want to consult the police" in order to help with safety and security issues raised by the board about ... the Schneider Court site.

Gentz said ... that council has a long-term responsibility "for making sure that all the interests of the city are taken into account and protected." Gentz also said he feels the board of education "should tread lightly when saying the school district has the right to override the city's zoning regulations."

Attorney Abraham Lieberman of Baumgartner & O'Toole spoke on the board's behalf. He asserted that, based on legal precedent in prior court cases, "the school district has to be treated differently and has greater rights than those of a municipality." ...

When asked by Gentz how a repair garage is considered "essential to education" (a key component in prior court cases), Lieberman responded that a location other than Heritage would impact the children "by costing more money to bus the children" ...

Larry Kroeger, councilman at large, said that council has the "responsibility to look five or 10 years down the road and see what works best."

Ward I councilman Mark Julius supported his fellow council members by adding that "council is genuinely trying to look at all the options" while he doesn't believe that the school board "has looked at any of the other options seriously except for the Heritage site." He added that he "respectfully asks that the board do so now."

Even though resolution for the garage location was not reached, council members indicated progress had been made. Easterday told those present that she hoped they now knew "what this council's concerns are." She said she appreciated the opportunity to reinforce council's position on the various options previously presented. Easterday said after the meeting that hearing what the bus drivers had to say was very important and that she "understands the drivers' frustrations" with the situation.

Gentz added that the public needs to be aware that council elected to not waive the three readings required so that the community's input could be heard and considered before making any final decision.

"We are concerned about the district, the children and the bus drivers," Gentz said. Council is, however, also "concerned about the future of Detroit Road" and in protecting "the integrity" of it. He warned that "once you set a precedent by allowing commercial development, you are without recourse."

Both Gentz and Marsiglia welcomed the opportunity for further discussions. A meeting date has yet to be announced.

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NEWS ARTICLE from The Chronicle-Telegram, 6-14-05, by Matt Keener

``AVON -- Council on Monday answered developer Steve Schafer's rezoning request for 13 acres adjacent to Avon Commons with a resounding 'No.'

Dennis McBride was the lone dissenter in the 6-1 vote against Schafer's proposal to rezone part of Detroit Road.

Council member Gerald Gentz said Council is obligated to decide what is best for Avon, and the plan for the city should not be decided by a developer. "Schafer Development knowingly purchased residential land deliberately with the intent of rezoning," Gentz said. "If we allow that, greed will be the victor and sensible urban planning will be the loser." ...

Council President Larry Hoekstra II ... [asked] when does rezoning stop. "If not now, when?" Hoekstra II asked. "What we vote tonight could change the face of Avon forever."

Schafer was disappointed with the vote but said the plan for his upscale eateries on Detroit Road will not end with Council's decision. "I'm disappointed but I'm not going to loose my vision," Schafer said. "It's been a long road and it's been exhausting at times. But I come from a football background and there's always another play. Sometimes you have to punt."

In another 6-1 decision, Council turned down a proposal ... for a bus garage near Heritage School on Detroit Road. The principle behind Council's decision to turn down the proposed bus garage was similar to the reasoning behind the Schafer decision, according to Gentz. "Once you do it ..., you will loose all future cases," Gentz said.''

More on Heritage Village (Schafer)

Contact Matt Keener at mkeener@chroniclet.com

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NEWS ARTICLE from The Press, 6-15-05, By Julie A. Short

Detroit Road rezoning denied

``AVON -- The question was asked "What do you want your town to look like?" and by a 6-1 vote of council on Monday (June 13), Avon will be minus a new shopping venue on Detroit Road. Council denied Avon developer and resident Steve Schafer's request to rezone 13 acres of property adjacent to Avon Commons from R-2 (residential) to C-3 (commercial). The property in question encompasses the former Piazza Greenhouse property ...

Avon resident Tom Wearsch has been against the project since it was introduced back in February and again pleaded his case before council.

"Avon's current master plan was developed in 1992," the former Avon council president said. "This is the one that is [should be] used as a guide by planning commission. The theme was that in considering development, we create a sense of place that has meaning. That sense of place means a clear division of commercial, industrial and residential districts. Is there anything uglier than driving through a newly developing city only to see commercial or industrial development and to see only these types of structures? How does that make you feel?"

Ward I Councilman Mark Julius called the zoning request "commercial suicide." "Avon is a pretty dog gone nice place to live," Julius said ... "I don't want to see commercial in my face. Avon Commons is an asset. I love it because you can't see it." ...

The negative vote from council could put another rezoning request in jeopardy. As reported in The PRESS on May 25, [2005] developer (Lake Pointe Construction) Greg Romes appeared before planning commission on May 18 requesting approval for the rezoning of approximately 22 acres of land on the southeast intersection of the SR 83 and Detroit Road from R-2 (residential) to C-2 and C-3 (commercial) zoning ...''

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NEWS ARTICLE from The Morning Journal, 6-17-05, by SCOT ALLYN, Morning Journal Writer

``Avon schools move ahead with bus garage despite city council vote

AVON -- The Avon school board's special meeting last night [6-16-05] was brief and the audience small, but the consequences could be far-reaching.

The board took 18 minutes to pass resolutions to move forward with plans for a school bus facility at the Heritage Schools Complex. Since the Avon City Council voted against amending the school's special-use permit, ... both sides are wondering if the issue will wind up in court.

One resolution authorizes the school board's attorney, Ken Stumphauzer, to notify City Council of the board's intention to break ground at the Heritage Schools Complex for the new school bus facility.

The second resolution directs school board Treasurer Kent Zeman to advertise for bids on the project, and the final resolution authorized release of a letter explaining the board's opposition to the City Council's proposed site for the facility at Schneider Court ...

Council President Larry Hoekstra II attended last night's school board meeting. ''I think the resolutions were ambiguous,'' he said after the meeting. ''I'm alarmed the school board is going out for bid on a project they cannot go forward with. My understanding is that the school board cannot go forward with bids if council does not amend the special-use permit.''

Hoekstra could not say how the city would respond. Council will add a special meeting to its regular work session next Monday, he said. ''We'll go into executive session to discuss the issue,'' he said. ''An injunction is a possibility. I may support it. However, I do not support a lawsuit against the school board.'' ...

School board member Dale Smitek said he does not want the issue to go to court. ''The schools are not suing the city,'' he said ...''

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NEWS ARTICLE from The Sun, 6-16-05, By MARY DAVIES, Staff Writer

``AVON -- With City Council having blocked the school district's new transportation garage proposal, board President Angie Marsiglia's statements just after council's decision left little doubt the matter is headed to court.

Ward 2 Councilman Dennis McBride was the lone supporter of an ordinance that would have allowed the schools to build a 4,704-square-foot bus repair garage and 42-space bus storage lot.

Council rejected the schools' request after several discussions in past weeks failed to produce a solution that appeased city and school officials.

Unhappy with the schools' desire to build on the Heritage Elementary School campus, which is surrounded by residentially zoned land, the city had hoped to continue talks. Board members declined ...

Council President Larry Hoekstra's invitation for school board members to speak just before council's vote was met with Marsiglia's emphatic "no comment" from her seat in the back of the room ...''

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NEWS ARTICLE from The Sun, 6-23-05, By MARY DAVIES, Staff Writer

``Bus debate rolls to court

AVON -- With both sides blaming the other for causing court action, the city and schools are taking a debate about a future home for school buses down legal avenues.

On Tuesday, Ward 4 Councilman Gerald Gentz said the city would, within the next few days, seek a court order to stop the schools from moving forward with plans for a transportation facility on the Heritage elementary schools campus. [Avon's request for a temporary injunction was filed in the Lorain County Common Pleas Court by attorney Dan Stringer on 6-23-05.] ...

In past discussions, some Council members said they fear a bus garage at the Heritage site would ... force the City to designate the area commercial.

"No one is going to want to live near a bus garage," Councilwoman at large JoAnne Easterday said ...

"The City offered to lease the Schneider Court property for virtually no cost, and we offered to build a bridge at the SR611 property," [Council President] Hoekstra said ...''

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NEWS ARTICLE from The Chronicle Telegram, 6-17-05, by Matt Keener

[Duct Tape Festival Schedule]

``AVON -- Dads and duct tape have a lot in common: Both are widely known for their fix-it capabilities, and both will be celebrated at the second annual Avon Heritage Duct Tape Festival this weekend. The three-day event, sponsored by Henkel Consumer Adhesives, begins 4 p.m. today [Friday, 6-17-05] at Veterans Memorial Park.

The festival is a great opportunity to learn about the history of Avon and the versatility of duct tape, according to Henkel spokeswoman Heather Sefcik. "With 19 colors, it's not just grey anymore," she said. Father's Day weekend was the ideal time for the event, Sefcik said ...

Organizer Sherry Stockard said the festival came together several years ago after complaints that the city no longer had a communitywide event. "I grew up in Avon with the Festival of Flowers, and I remembered going to that as a kid," Stockard said. "I wanted my children to have a similar event that they could go to."

Stockard envisioned an occasion that would bring a wide range of community members and organizations together. "We wanted a place where local organizations and businesses could come and let people know what's going on," Stockard said. This year's festival aims to build on the success of the inaugural event last year, Sefcik said.

WHAT'S HAPPENING

Friday

4 p.m. opening ceremonies and ribbon cutting

5 p.m. Duct tape sculptors, The Duct Tape Guys

6:30 p.m. The Brand Band

7:30 p.m. Dad of the Year

8 p.m. The Sofa Kings

Saturday

10 a.m. Car and truck show

11:30 a.m. Duct Tape Guys

1 p.m. Stephen Knight, magic

2 p.m. Paul Pope and Phil James

4 p.m. car and truck show

5:30 p.m. DJ Kenny G

8:30 p.m. DiscoMatic

9:30 p.m. fireworks

Sunday

Noon Duct Tape Guys

1 p.m. Rodger and the Ramjets

1:30 p.m. parade starts at Avon Village Elementary, ends at Avon High School

4 p.m. float winners

5 p.m. Laredo

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NEWS ARTICLE from The Sun, 6-16-05, By MARY DAVIES, Staff Writer

``Everything is just ducky at annual duct tape fest

AVON -- There'll be duct tape sculptures, people wearing duct tape clothing and a Duct Tape Dad of the Year.

Plus the comedy of nationally known act, The Duct Tape Guys, and artistic lessons from a Wisconsin woman who wrote a book about duct tape uses.

The second annual Avon Heritage Duct Tape Festival opens at 4 p.m. Friday and runs through 8 p.m. Sunday at Veteran's Memorial Park, off Detroit Road just west of Long Road in western Avon. Free parking is on-site ...

Sponsored mainly by Henkel Consumer Adhesives Inc., maker of Duck brand duct tape whose Avon headquarters employs nearly 500, the festival is expected to draw close to 20,000 people.

Activities and attractions for all ages are planned, and organizers are promising an event bigger and better than last year's ...''

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NEWS ARTICLE from The Press, 6-15-05, By Julie A. Short

``Schneider Court ready for asphalt

AVON -- The waiting is the hardest part as workers continue putting the finishing touches on the new city of Avon Service Garage on Schneider Court (off SR 83). The project began in August 2004 and according to Service Director Jerry Plas, should have been completed in approximately nine months ...

The 18,000-sq.-ft facility, estimated to cost $2.5 million, includes eight garage bays and office space.

According to Plas, the main building will feature a receptionist area leading to offices for the streets superintendent and service director. The service director will divide time between the service garage and the city's utilities building. The current service garage/building on Detroit Road will be solely used as by the utilities department once the new service garage/building is complete.

"We will also have a training/conference room," Plas said. "The building will be equipped with a lunch room featuring a microwave and refrigerator. There will be men's and women's locker rooms showers. Four cubicles areas for desks and chairs are also in the building for superintendents and other workers."

Six of the eight garage bays will be used to store vehicles. One will serve as the primary wash bay and the other will be utilized for repairs. A mezzanine level will be used for storage and there is also a mechanical room, contaminants room and storage for tools. The outside northeast corner of the property will be used for salt storage ...

"It's been an inconvenience since the collapse of our service garage roof on Dec. 23 [2004]," he said. "City services were not detained. We did the best we could. The new structure was designed and built for a 20-year longevity. It will be an asset to Avon. As the city continues to grow, we can put an addition off the north end of the building if needed down the road."

RWL Architects designed the building and Martini Construction was the general contractor.''

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NEWS ARTICLE from The Press, 6-22-05, By Julie A. Short

``Williams House owners given approval for renovations

AVON -- It took five presentations, three engineers, two architects and one year before the long awaited renovations for the Williams House (37395 Detroit Road) met with approval from the city's planning commission. Owners Dr. Tom Kelly and Mike Petrillo were ecstatic following the unanimous 5-0 of the members on June 15.

"We're going to begin working next week on the mechanical drawing," Petrillo said. "I'm also going to bring back Mark Yager (original architect hired last year to design the project) to serve as the main advisor to the project. We hope to start the renovations by the middle of next month." ...

Even up until the final vote was taken, the project was still met with some concerns from commission members. At odds was whether or not enough parking spaces were available. Tim Krugman, the city's zoning enforcement officer, noted that based on the square footage of the buildings proposed, 61 parking spots are needed. "My question to you is, would there be enough spots to accommodate customers?" Krugman asked ...

Taylor "Jack" Smith, president of the Avon Historical Society, presented planning commission with 368 signatures on a petition that the society had been circulating to save the Williams House from partial demolition as first proposed.

"They (the owners) should be commended," Smith said.

The new (and final) plans for the Williams House include an ice cream parlor to occupy most of the current house. A new building will be constructed behind the house that will accommodate Kelly's optometry practice and also the antique dealers. Renovations include two additional wings that will be constructed on both ends of the Williams House. On the eastside wing, a fireplace made of sandstone will be created.

The 169-year-old home is reminiscent of Greek Revival architecture and is one of three Avon homes on the National Register of Historic Places provided by the U. S. Department of the Interior.''

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NEWS ARTICLE from The Press, 4-27-05, By Julie A. Short

``Latest Williams House plans look promising, no demolition

AVON -- If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. And if that doesn't work, hire a new architect. That's exactly what the owners of the Williams House (37395 Detroit Road), Dr. Tom Kelly and Mike Petrillo, did after several of the home's previous plans created quite a stir among the community, especially from members of the Avon Historical Society.

The new plans, created by Avon resident Joe Richvalsky of the firm Design Collective Incorporated in Cleveland, was hired by Kelly after several of the previous plans were not hitting the mark.

"It was clear the old plans were not going anywhere," Kelly said. "They really didn't fit the character of the environment. We plan to keep the house the same and make a few minor upgrades. A new architect brings a fresh perspective. He grew up in Avon. The design fits nicely in the community."

According to Kelly, the goal is to the have the proposed ice cream parlor occupy most of the current Williams House. A new building will be constructed behind the house that will accommodate Kelly's optometry practice and also the antique dealers.

Reports had circulated that new structure would be built to look like a barn, but the plans have since been modified. "The Williams House will be painted white with dark green shutters," Richvalsky said. "The new building will also be white in color and the buildings will be connected with shared fire stairs, HVAC, kitchen equipment and restrooms. This will save money and space."

Richvalsky further described the renovations to include two additional wings that will be constructed on both ends of the Williams House. On the eastside wing, a fireplace made of sandstone will be created. "We plan to incorporate the use of sandstone throughout the entire project," Richvalsky said. "The original owners of the home were one of the richest families in the area and ran the sawmills in Avon. Sandstone was a very prominent building material back in the day. It will also be used to create low walls throughout the property for landscaping."

The 169-year-old home is reminiscent of Greek Revival architecture and Richvalsky plans to keep many of the same architectural details of the original home. "We plan to keep the doors and windows and try to save as much of the floors as possible," he said. "Fire treated cedar shingles will be used. Pillars will be attached to the front door area and cornices will be added above the door."

Richvalsky is no stranger to the intricacies of historical homes. He purchased the Johannes Nagel Home (circa 1843) a few years ago and in his spare time, has been working to restore the home. "I have a great interest in historical structures," he said. "If people can keep an open-mind, there is a lot that can be done to a home and still keep its historical significance. "I'm thrilled to work on the Williams House project. I hope this sets a precedent that viable, successful buildings can thrive here. The rules have to be written so good design will happen. I don't feel this is a compromise. It's just a different approach." ...

Trish Binder is an antique dealer at the home and although pleased with the new design, she would like to dispel previous reports that stated the home was not maintained. "Many dealers have worked hard to keep the building absolutely beautiful," she said. "We have been a top antique dealership for many years and there is lots of merchandise high in value. There are no animals in the buildings. We have worked hard to maintain the building. "With the new plans for the home, we are going to have additional space to expand."

Original plans submitted by former architect, Mark Yager of Y Architects, called for a partial teardown of the back of the home. One set of plans also showed a predominately glass structure on the property.

"We want the property to be a showpiece as you enter the French Creek District," Kelly said. "The new plans reflect this." Richvalsky has submitted the new plans to the city and a formal presentation will be given at the May 18 [2005] meeting of the planning commission. Assuming the city accepts the new plans and parking issues can be worked out, construction will begin in mid to late summer with the opening scheduled for the early part of next year.''

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NEWS ARTICLE from The Sun, 4-21-05, By MARY DAVIES, Staff Writer

``Latest plan would save historic Williams House

AVON -- If planning commissioners give the project a thumbs-up, the historic property known as the Williams House will stay intact.

Owners of the property at 37392 Detriot Road submitted to the city's building department revised plans for an estimated 2,000-square-foot addition to the property and creation of an ice cream parlor.

Most significantly, the new proposal includes no demolition of the 169-year-old home. It is expected to be presented to the Planning Commissioners in May.

Previous plans called for a partial tear-down of the home and construction of an office/retail center which Thomas Kelly, co-owner of the property, admitted was out of character with the existing neighborhood ...''

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NEWS ARTICLE from the Chronicle Telegram, 4-21-05, by Brad Dicken

``Williams House wing won't be torn down

The Williams House no longer faces the wrecking ball. A plan to tear down the original wing of the 169-year-old Avon home, at Detroit and French Creek roads, has been scrapped in favor of a proposal that will see the house renovated and an addition built on the back.

"It's a great house -- you'd hate to see it removed," said Tom Kelly, one of the home's owners. "They don't build them like that anymore."

Jack Smith, president of the Avon Historical Society, hailed the decision as a victory for preservationists who have fought to save the original look of the home ...''

Contact Brad Dicken at bdicken@chroniclet.com.

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NEWS ARTICLE from The Press, 6-15-05, By Lori E. Switaj

Landmarks Preservation seeks ordinance to guide planning commission

``AVON -- Landmarks Preservation Commission Chairman (LPC) Carol Hartwig is expected to present a plan to Avon's planning commission tonight (June 15) to help establish guidelines ... [for Planning Commission to deal with] historic properties in the city ...

The Landmarks Preservation Commission was incorporated into the city charter in 2003 ...

Taylor "Jack" Smith (president of the Avon Historical Society) ... said the recent flap over The Williams House was a prime example of why [a guideline] ordinance is needed ... "The first plans submitted for The Williams House showed them demolishing half the house and they called that an 'alteration.'..."

He also cited the 10-acre Stone Eagle Farm now up for sale, which has historic structures on the site. "The farm could be demolished," he said. "Planning commission should be informed there's a historic structure there."

Smith said the ordinance would require developers to indicate on proposals submitted to planning commission if there is a historic place on the property.

"When developers first inquire, they could be given technical assistance if a historic place is involved, i.e. a [professional preservationist], or a member of the historical society before planning starts," Smith said ...''

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NEWS ARTICLE from The Morning Journal, 6-22-05, by SCOT ALLYN, Morning Journal Writer

``AVON -- If Best Buy is granted approval for a store at Chester Road and Old Center Road, it will be in an area that has seen ''at least a 35 percent increase in traffic in the last two years,'' according to Avon consulting Engineer Mike Bramhall.

Drivers can look forward to more traffic on the way. Chester Road Square is slated to open this fall, with 43,000 square feet of retail space and restaurants. It is approximately 1,000 feet east of the intersection on Chester Road.

Best Buy's plan calls for 30,000 square feet of retail space, and Wal-Mart is located on Chester Road, across the street from Chester Road Square and east of the proposed Best Buy ...

Planning Coordinator Jim Piazza said relief for harried drivers could come next summer ... the plan is to make an SR 83 extension. An extension of SR 83 could be built north of Chester Road, curving east behind City Hall, about a quarter-mile and meet up with SR 83 again. ''It would free up Chester Road coming from the east,'' he said.

''The solution has been engineered for a year,'' he said, ''but we need the money.'' Bramhall said Avon is considering applying for a grant from the Ohio Public Works Commission for approximately $200,000 for the project.

''We need to separate the traffic from Avon Lake that wants to get on I-90 from the local people going shopping,'' Piazza said. The new road would have two lanes each direction at its intersection with Chester, according to Piazza ...

Planning Commission Chairman Carolyn Witherspoon ... said ''We don't want to look at a big piece of asphalt,'' Avon has requirements for the number of spaces, depending on the square footage of a store.''

Dorrie Bommer, Planning Commission secretary, confirmed that the planning and zoning code book would require one space for each 250 square feet of store area. That would mean 120 spaces for Best Buy's plan for a 30,000-square-foot store.

''And we prefer the shoebox type of lighting (in the parking lot),'' Witherspoon added. ''It doesn't produce direct glare or shed light onto neighboring properties. Avon Commons and French Creek Square use it.''

Best Buy spokesman Jay Musolf said the Avon location had been selected for its convenience. ''Best Buy wants to make shopping more convenient for local residents,'' he said. ''But we have not yet announced a lease agreement.'' Until they did, he emphasized, the consumer electronics store could not divulge further details about its plans.''

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NEWS ARTICLE from The Morning Journal, 6-30-05, by SCOT ALLYN, Morning Journal Writer

``Traffic is biggest issue for Best Buy in Avon

AVON -- Best Buy came one step closer to breaking ground for a 30,000-square-foot store last night as the Avon Planning Commission voted unanimously to approve the store's plans. However, that is contingent on the results of a traffic study of the already congested area at Chester and Center roads.

Michael Schweickart, hired by Best Buy to conduct the study, said it would take about two to three weeks to complete. ''We'll stand out there by the road and count the cars going by,'' he said.

After measuring existing traffic, his company, Transportation Management Services, will predict how many shoppers the Best Buy store will attract. ''Based on the size of the store, we'll estimate how many trips will be added,'' he said.

The consumer electronics retailer had already made concessions to the commission's concerns about traffic, voiced at the June 15 [2005] meeting. The new plan includes a right-turn-only lane on Chester for drivers entering the store's parking lot, and Best Buy also agreed to eliminate exiting from the parking lot onto Chester Road.

''They'll use Center Road,'' said Mike Bramhall, Avon consulting engineer. ''That way they'll queue up on Center instead of slowing things down on Chester,'' he said. In addition, a left-turn lane could be added on Center Road for drivers turning west on Chester.

If the traffic study suggests changes to Avon streets or traffic signals, then City Council will hear the proposal in its Aug. 1 work session. It would then vote whether to accept the changes at its regular meeting Aug. 8 [2005].

But if Bramhall feels the traffic study warrants no further changes to Avon roads, a building permit would be automatic, according to Planning Commission Chairwoman Carolyn Witherspoon. ''The building design and engineering are already up to code,'' Witherspoon said ...''

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NEWS ARTICLE from The Plain Dealer, 6-24-05, by Staff

``County OKs tax abatement

AVON -- Lorain County commissioners on Thursday [6-23-05] approved a 10-year, 75 percent tax abatement between the city of Avon and Henkel Consumer Adhesives Inc. The company, formerly known as Manco Inc., makes Duck Tape and other home, office and do-it-yourself products. Henkel will invest $9.1 million to expand its facility on Just Imagine Drive. The 220,000-square-foot addition will lead to 40 new full-time jobs, said Rebecca Jones of the county Community Development Department. The Henkel Group purchased Manco Inc. in 1998 for $116 million.''

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NEWS ARTICLE from the Morning Journal, 6-18-05

``AVON -- Chester Road Square, a retail development rising from the mud and gravel across the street from Wal-Mart, has signed four restaurants as its tenants.

The development on Chester Road, east of SR 83, will open in September or October, according to Tom Jelepis of Vetrone Development.

Though the only businesses signed so far are eating establishments, other tenants are being sought, Jelepis said. The restaurants coming to Chester Road Square are The Rush Inn, El Tango Taqueria, Juice and Java Cafe and Dinners On the Go, according to Jelepis.

Ken Rush said he hopes to open the Rush Inn Tavern in September or October. ''I pride myself on good service and top-quality food,'' he said. The restaurant will have an 80-foot by 20-foot outdoor patio where people can eat, said Rush. The decor will include nostalgic photos of Avon and Cleveland, he said. A bar area by the front door will open onto a dining room featuring booths and a fireplace.

Menu prices will range from appetizers for $3.95 to a filet mignon for $21, according to Rush ...

Jelepis said he used the same architect who designed the French Creek [Square] shopping center, Dan Saleet of ADA Architects in Lakewood ...''

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NEWS ARTICLE from The Plain Dealer, 6-30-05, by Rich Exner, Plain Dealer Reporter

``Cleveland population lowest since 1900

[Avon picked up 1,048 residents, starting in 2003, to reach a new total of 14,880 by July, 2004]

Cleveland, Cincinnati, Dayton and Toledo lost residents last year at a rate that was among the highest in the nation, according to census estimates being released today.

Worst [percentage loss] among Ohio's big cities was Cincinnati, which lost 4,031 people, or 1.3 percent of its population. The Queen City's percentage loss trails only St. Paul, Detroit, St. Louis and Boston.

Cleveland's population fell to its lowest level since the 1900 census, dropping 1 percent. The loss of nearly 5,000 residents put the city's population at 458,684. Since 2000, Cleveland has lost nearly 20,000 residents, the U.S. Census Bureau estimates ...

The Census Bureau ranked the 251 cities across the country that have populations of at least 100,000 from 2003 to 2004.

It looked at building permits, mobile home shipments and estimates of housing unit losses, among other factors, in making the new estimates.

Nationally, the fastest-growing cities were Port St. Lucie, Fla.; Elk Grove, Calif.; and North Las Vegas, Nev., as the migration to the South and West continued.

Despite an 0.1 percent drop, New York remained America's largest city by far, with 8.1 million people, more than twice the size of No. 2 Los Angeles.

The only big city in Ohio to gain population last year was Columbus, which grew 0.2 percent to 730,008 people.

Among those that lost was Toledo, whose population fell to 304,973 after losing 3,471 people. Dayton lost 1,539 people, dropping its population to 160,293. Akron's population fell to 212,179 after the city lost 635 last year. Cincinnati's loss dropped its population to 314,154.

Statewide, though, the Census Bureau estimated Ohio's population at 11.5 million people for 2004, up 0.2 percent from a year earlier.

While many older cities, including most places in Cuyahoga County, have lost population, outlying areas are growing.

No city in Northeast Ohio grew faster than Avon, which picked up 1,048 residents to reach a new total of 14,880, the Census Bureau estimated. Avon's 7.6 percent growth was third highest among cities (with more than 5,000 residents) statewide, behind only the central Ohio towns of Powell and Pickerington.

Some 370 homes were built in Avon last year [2004], Mayor James A. Smith said.

"We're the first city out of Cuyahoga County on I-90. That's part of it. Westlake is full," Smith said. "And our school system is one of the best in the state. That's what draws people with children." ...''

To reach this Plain Dealer reporter: rexner@plaind.com

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NEWS ARTICLE from The Chronicle Telegram, 7-1-05, by Chris Powell

``Avon's population grows the most, Wellington the least

Avon, North Ridgeville and Sheffield Village are the fastest growing cities in Lorain County, according to a new report by the U.S. Census Bureau.

According to population estimations released Thursday, Avon's population grew by 23 percent from April 2000 to July 2004, while North Ridgeville and Sheffield Village each grew by 11 percent.

Avon Mayor Jim Smith said he wasn't surprised by the numbers because the city has been a magnet for development the last 10 years. "We have a great school system, a very stable tax base and decent city services," Smith said. "All those things spell out that this is a place where people want to be."

North Ridgeville Mayor David Gillock said the influx to Avon and North Ridgeville, which both border Cuyahoga County, is credited to the exodus across county lines. Cuyahoga County saw more than 42,900 people leave between April 2000 and July 2004.

In fact with the exception of Cuyahoga County, all the counties in the seven-county area saw growth in suburban cities and townships since 2000. Medina County experienced double digit growth with 13,982 new residents, while Lorain County grew by 9,660 residents. Portage County had the smallest growth with 2,703 new residents.

The city of Lorain lost 737 residents over the four-year period with the July 2004 population estimate of 67,915 ...

Elyria Mayor Bill Grace was content with the July 2004 city population estimate of 56,175 up 222 from April 2000 ...

Sheffield Lake, South Amherst and Carlisle and Elyria townships each had population decreases since April 2000.''

[Avon reached a total of 14,880 residents in July, 2004. To put this into perspective, we should look at the 1992 Avon Master Plan, submitted to Mayor Pearl Olearcik on 7-23-92 by Metro One Design Group Inc. On page 28, Metro One calculates that Avon's 7627 acres of R1 (single family) zoned land will produce a build-out population of 58,333; there will be a total build-out population from all residentialy zoned land of 74,156.

On page 16, Metro One recommends that 4470 acres of Avon's R1 land be changed to R1WR (R1 Western Reserve) with a minimum lot size of two acres. At build-out, R1 would have 24,144 people; R1WR would have 6884 people; and there would be a total build-out population from all residentialy zoned land of 44,754.

No R1 land has been given mandatory R1WR zoning, although R1WR is a rarely used voluntary option. Thus Avon's build-out population, without a massive rezoning of Detroit Rd. to R3 (multi-family), will be about 74,000, according to Metro One. Mayor James Smith has stated that Avon's buildout population will be about 40,000 based on current ordinances; but no calculations have been presented to support this claim.

Avon has an area of 20.9 square miles. Parma has an area of 20.8 square miles and a 2004 population of 87,000; So, if you think traffic is bad with an Avon population of about 15,000, just wait. Remember, Parma was built on a grid; Avon's developments are almost impenetrable mazes.]

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