Newspaper Record of XXXXX/JACOBS in Avon,
Ohio -- 10-8-02 to 1-7-03

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11-6-02 Avon residents speak out on Master Thoroughfare Plan

11-16-02 Group formed to promote Nagel Rd. Interchange

ELECTION, 11-5-02 -- ISSUE 17
Avon, zoning referendum, rezoning from residential to business, car dealership:

PASSED: 3,837 to 983.

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The URS traffic engineers have recommended that Detroit Road be 5 lanes of pavement in Avon's official master thoroughfare plan, as required for a new I-90 interchange near Nagel Road.

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The Avon Historical Society supports an

amendment to the Avon City Charter to

require that Detroit Road have a

maximun pavement width of 36 feet and

not more than 3 lanes,

except at intersections.

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PLEASE HELP US SAVE DETROIT ROAD:

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Membership Application,
2002-2003, Avon Historical Society

Please Mark Choice:

[] Individual $5;
[] couple $7.50;
[] family $12.

Name:

Address:

Telephone #:

email:

Please send your check to
The Avon Historical Society,
2940 Stoney Ridge Rd., Avon, OH 44011.

For more information, call (440) 934-6106
or see http://www.avonhistory.org

We are a 501(c)3 ORGANIZATION:
DUES AND DONATIONS ARE TAX DEDUCTIBLE.

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NEWS ARTICLE from The Morning Journal, 11-13-02, Andrea Might

``AVON -- A debate that stretches back as far as two years remains unresolved as the Avon City Council unanimously decided [on 11-12-02] to postpone making a decision whether there should be a new Interstate 90 interchange in the city. This means the matter goes back to the Planning Commission for further discussion.

Council members agreed there were too many questions surrounding the issue and wanted it to be revisited by the Planning Commission to discuss. Council ... [will vote on] the issue at its second meeting in January 2003.

"Why can't we just take a breath?" Councilman at large Jack Kilroy questioned, quoting a constituent who contacted him regarding the I-90 issue. "There's no hurry."

Two years ago, the Jacobs Group requested Council's support to add an interstate interchange at Nagel Road to complement its 1999 purchase of about 225 acres, but Council eventually rejected the new interchange.

The company had planned to build a 500-acre complex of single-family homes, offices and restaurants and wanted the $15 million interchange between existing exits at SR 83 in Avon and Crocker Road in Westlake.

However, Council didn't support the interchange until they recently paid URS Corp. $40,000 [supplied by the Jacobs Group] to complete a traffic study suggesting it. URS began the study for Avon in October 2001 and presented its findings to the Avon Planning Commission in June.

The study projected how much traffic would be going through Avon and what the city needs to do to accommodate it. In addition, it highlighted five points the city should address as soon as possible, and one suggestion was to analyze and initiate a study to add an I-90 interchange somewhere between SR 83 and Westlake.

However, an exact location has not yet been chosen, although planners said it would be somewhere between Nagel Road and the Cuyahoga County line ...

About 40 Avon residents filled council chambers two weeks ago to voice their opinions about the interchange, and most of those who got an opportunity to speak were not excited about the prospect. In fact, nobody spoke in favor of it.

Some residents said they're concerned that people trying to get to the Nagel Road interchange will increase Avon traffic, forcing the city to widen Detroit Road to five lanes.

"We should look hard before looking into a request for the I-90 interchange near Nagel Road recommended by the URS traffic engineer, we might get what we asked for," said Avon resident Taylor J. Smith. "We should think twice before we plunge the east side of Avon into turmoil and destroy Detroit Road from one end of the city to the other."

Chuck Huene agreed, saying council will be making a mistake if it passes legislation to allow the interchange. "I don't vote for people who make mistakes," he said ...''

NEWS ARTICLE from The Press, 11-6-02, By Julie A. Short

``Avon residents speak out on Master Thoroughfare Plan

AVON -- Much has been discussed and written regarding Avon's proposed Master Thoroughfare Plan. City officials have worked tirelessly to digest the study commissioned by Akron-based URS. Last week [10-28-02] during a regular meeting of city council, the public was given a chance to speak on the issue. And speak they did.

About 50 residents listened as council summarized the points listed in the study. One major item included on the list is the proposed interchange on I-90 somewhere between SR 83 and the Westlake border.

"We should look hard before leaping into a request for the I-90 interchange near Nagel Road recommended by the URS traffic engineer," Avon resident Jack Smith said. "We might get what we ask for." ...

"Widening Detroit Road is necessary, according to URS, to bring cars to a new interchange in order to serve rush hour traffic twenty years from now. No consideration is given to commuter rail or to the trend in business, even before 9/11, to disperse records and employees using telecommunication," Smith said.

"On a commuter train to Cleveland, one could read and enjoy the ride, in contrast to spending hours in traffic gripping the steering wheel. Because diesel fuel can be made from American coal or soybeans, and because of 9/11, we should consider an approach that does not rely on gasoline," Smith stated.

Smith also pointed out that no evidence has been presented to support the claim that an interchange is needed [to help Avon's industrial development. Manco was willing to locate in the eastern part of Avon's industrial land without a Nagel Rd. interchange.]

"Since the Nagel Road interchange was first proposed by the Jacobs Group in 1997, no affidavit from any manufacturing company has been presented which states that the company would locate in Avon if there were an interchange near Nagel Road. Other factors, such as the availability of water and a capable workforce, are much more important."

Smith also questioned what effect the interchange will have on Nagel Road. How many years would traffic coming north on Nagel Road be required to make a dogleg turn on Chester Road to reach the interchange? In other words, how many years after the interchange is built would it take to build a new north-south connector from North Ridgeville to the interchange? The city has lived with a dogleg turn on SR 83 at Chester for more than 30 years.

Logically, according to Smith, the new north-south connector should be built before the interchange is constructed.

"A new I-90 interchange near Nagel Road would be an attractive nuisance. Cars from North Ridgeville, which otherwise could find their way to Cleveland on I-480, would be drawn north on Nagel Road to I-90 by a new interchange. The construction of hundreds of homes is planned in North Ridgeville. Nagel Road would be overwhelmed by this ever-increasing traffic," Smith explained.

Other questions raised by Smith include: What about the traffic coming south on Nagel Road to the interchange from Avon Lake and Bay Village? Is there any plan at all to relieve these cars of a dogleg turn at Chester Road to get to the interchange? Is there a plan for an overpass on Nagel Road at the tracks? Who will pay for it and when will it be built? Smith suggested council members refer back to planning commission for answers before discussing the interchange any further.

Other residents in attendance had issues as well regarding the interchange. Chuck Huene agreed with the statement read by Smith.

"If this council passes legislation to change the city's Master Thoroughfare Plan to allow for the interchange, it will be making a mistake. This ordinance as written is a mistake and I don't vote for people who make mistakes," he said ...''

QUESTIONS submitted as requested by the Chairman of the Avon Planning Commission, 11-14-02

I QUESTIONS RELATING TO THE EFFECT OF AN I-90 interchange east of Nagel Rd. ON DETROIT ROAD

I-1. As an alternative to five lanes of pavement on Detroit Rd., what is the Avon Planning Commission doing about a limited access connector from east to west in Avon south of Detroit Rd.?

I-1a. Who will pay for it?

I-1b. When will it be built?

I-2. How has the Avon Planning Commission evaluated the effect of five lanes of pavement on Detroit Rd. century homes?

I-3. How has the Avon Planning Commission evaluated the effect of five lanes of pavement on the French Creek District? The URS traffic engineer was willing to spare only the Old Town Hall of 1871.

I-4. What would be the projected traffic count on Detroit Rd. with and without the I-90 interchange east of Nagel Rd. in the years 2010, 2015, 2020, and 2025?

I-5. What would be the projected traffic count on Detroit Rd. with and without the limited access connector from east to west in Avon south of Detroit Rd. in the years 2010, 2015, 2020, and 2025?

I-6. What would be the combined effect on the Detroit Rd. traffic count of the I-90 interchange and the limited access connector from east to west in Avon south of Detroit Rd. in the years 2010, 2015, 2020, and 2025?

I-7. Who will pay for the I-90 interchange east of Nagel Rd.?

II QUESTIONS RELATING TO THE EFFECT OF AN I-90 interchange east of Nagel Rd. ON NAGEL ROAD

II-1. How many years would traffic coming north on Nagel Rd. be required to make a dog-leg turn on Chester Rd. to reach the interchange?

II-2. How many years would traffic coming south on Nagel Rd. from Avon Lake be required to make a dog-leg turn on Chester Rd. to reach the interchange?

II-3. What plan does the Avon Planning Commission have for an overpass on Nagel Rd. at the tracks to service the I-90 interchange east of Nagel Rd.?

II-3a. Who will pay for it?

II-3b. When will it be built?

II-4. How many years after the interchange is built would it take to build a new north-south connector from North Ridgeville to the interchange? We have lived with a dog-leg turn on SR-83 at Chester for over thirty years.

II-5. What is the Avon Planning Commission doing now to provide for a new north-south limited access connector from North Ridgeville to the interchange?

II-6. What is the Avon Planning Commission doing to have the new north-south connector built before the interchange is constructed?

II-6a. Who will pay for it?

II-6b. When will it be built?

II-7. What would be the projected traffic count on Nagel Rd. with and without the I-90 interchange in the years 2010, 2015, 2020, and 2025?

II-8. What would be the projected traffic count on Nagel Rd. with and without the limited access connector from north to south in the years 2010, 2015, 2020, and 2025?

II-9. What would be the combined effect on the Nagel Rd. traffic count of the I-90 interchange and the limited access connector from north to south in the years 2010, 2015, 2020, and 2025?

II-10. How many cars from North Ridgeville, which otherwise could find their way to Cleveland on I-480, would be drawn north on Nagel Rd. to I-90 by a new interchange in the years 2010, 2015, 2020, and 2025?

II-11. Do current plans of the Avon Planning Commission show the limited access north-south connector running along the east side of Nagel Rd. through the new St. Joseph's cemetary?

II-12. What steps is the Avon Planning Commission taking to secure a letter of consent from Bishop Pilla for a limited access north-south connector running along the east side of Nagel Rd. through St. Joseph's cemetary?

II-12a. Who will pay for it through St. Joseph's cemetary?

III OTHER QUESTIONS RELATING TO THE I-90 interchange east of Nagel Rd.

III-1. What effect will adding an I-90 interchange have on traffic flow on I-90?

III-2. To what extent is commuter rail in Avon an alternative to an I-90 interchange east of Nagel Rd.?

III-3. How is the Avon Planning Commission providing for commuter rail in Avon?

III-4. How and where is the Avon Planning Commission preserving space for a commuter rail park-and-ride?

III-5. What manufacturing companies would require an I-90 interchange east of Nagel Rd. to locate in Avon?

III-6. What plans has the Avon Planning Commission considered that would make the I-90 interchange only available to Avon's industrial area?

III-7. How would the I-90 interchange be designed so that it would not attract cars on Detroit Rd. and on Nagel Rd.?

III-8. What is the Avon Planning Commission doing to get Chester Road continued through Bradley Road all the way to Clemens? This way industries and others can access I-90 at both Crocker and SR-83, without having to backtrack.

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NEWS ARTICLE from The Morning Journal, 11-16-02, By ANDREA MIGHT, Morning Journal Writer

``Group is driving I-90 interchange issue forward

AVON -- Debate on a proposed Interstate 90 interchange in Avon is certain to continue now that a group has formed to push the issue.

Tom Smith, [head of the Lorain County Board of Elections] an Elyria attorney who was asked to help the Avon Citizens Traffic Improvement Organization, said he was hesitant to say who its members are, but he said many of those at ACTION's first meeting were from businesses, including the Jacobs Group.

On Monday, instead of voting to add the interchange to the city's Master Thoroughfare Plan, City Council decided to allow the debate to continue and unanimously voted to send the matter back to Avon Planning Commission for further discussion.

Two years ago, the Jacobs Group requested council's support to add an interstate interchange at Nagle Road to complement its 1999 purchase of about 225 acres of land, but council eventually rejected the new interchange.

The company had planned to build a 500-acre commercial and residential complex and wanted the $15 million interchange between existing exits at SR 83 in Avon and Crocker Road in Westlake.

A Jacobs Group spokesman didn't return a message seeking comment yesterday ...

Although an exact location for the interchange has not yet been chosen, planners said it would be somewhere between Nagel Road and the Cuyahoga County line ...

Council began discussing the possibility of an interchange again at the suggestion of URS Corp., which conducted a $40,000 traffic study for Avon that projected how much traffic would be going through Avon and what the city needs to do to accommodate it.

The study highlighted five points the city should address as soon as possible, and one suggestion was to analyze and initiate a study to add an I-90 interchange somewhere between SR 83 and Westlake ...

Avon resident Taylor J. Smith said he is against the interchange because the increased traffic could force the city to widen Detroit Road to five lanes. He said a charter amendment should keep Detroit Road three lanes because an ordinance could be changed too quickly and too easily.

''I'm not against the interchange per se, I am opposed to the effects of the interchange,'' he said. ''Commercial zoning would be very easy to obtain by way of lawsuits all along Detroit Road with five lanes.''

Chuck Huene agreed with Taylor Smith and said if council passes legislation to change the master road plan and allow the interchange, it will be making a mistake.

''This ordinance as written is a mistake, and I don't vote for people who make mistakes,'' he said.

The mayor said although some people are concerned about widening Detroit Road, council has to consider its long-term benefits ...

Even though Taylor Smith sold some land to First Interstate Properties, LTD when it built Avon Commons, he said the shopping center doesn't affect the traffic on Detroit Road, the need for a new I-90 interchange or the possibility to widen Detroit Road.

''The [Nagel Rd.] interchange is what requires five lanes,'' he said.

If council eventually decides to pass an ordinance approving the interchange, a $150,000 study has to be conducted by the city and Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency. The mayor said he hopes to have businesses help with the costs of the study ...''

NEWS ARTICLE from The Press, 11-20-02, By Julie A. Short

``I-90 interchange vote on hold until January

AVON -- It was supposed to be the third and final reading of an ordinance to adopt changes to the Master Thoroughfare Plan to construct an I-90 interchange east of Nagel Road. City officials have been debating the subject for months and finally votes were to be cast to either move forward with the plan, or not.

In a motion from Councilman-At-Large Jack Kilroy, council members agreed to table the issue for more discussion. Kilroy suggested that the issue be placed back in the hands of the city's Planning Commission. Since Planning Commission's agenda is set for this month, the issue will not be discussed until December and may not receive the attention of council members until January.

"I feel that this issue needs more thought. There are many unanswered questions. Why can't we just take a breath? We don't have to decide on this today," Kilroy said during last week's council meeting.

During his plea for an extension, Kilroy cited examples of highway interchange congestion.

"I recently visited the Polaris area in Columbus. The exit off of I-71 has two lanes and both were full of cars. The interchange did not alleviate traffic. I would hate for this to happen in Avon. We haven't really given enough changes a chance to work. I believe there may be other alternatives to this proposed interchange," he said.

Other members agreed with Kilroy's proposal.

"I too, prefer to have the matter sent back to Planning Commission. One of the concerns I have is the impact the interchange will have on Detroit Road. Will we see the need for Detroit Road to be five lanes in the future? I don't know, but we should keep that in mind," Councilman Gerald Gentz said.

Gentz also raised questions regarding Nagel Road in general.

"Nagel is very congested during rush hour already. An interchange would create more traffic. The mayor has said that the I-90 interchange is necessary to promote the development of industrial growth north of the city. If that is the main reason, than make the interchange a north exit only. I can accept this," Gentz explained ...

Councilwoman JoAnne Easterday has been in favor of a traffic study to address the interchange since the last election year. If council does determine the need for the I-90 interchange, the study would cost in upwards of $100,000. Mayor Jim Smith has already stated previously that he hopes to have businesses help with the costs of the study.

One member of council offered no opinion either way regarding the interchange.

"I'm on the fence regarding the whole thing. Let's see what planning commission decides," Carol Hartwig said.

A few weeks ago the public was given a chance to voice their concerns regarding the interchange and council members have given careful consideration to those comments. One resident in particular has strongly encouraged council members to rethink the interchange and come up with alternatives to the city traffic issues.

"I'm not against the interchange per se, I am opposed to the effects of the interchange. The increased traffic could force the city to widen Detroit Road to five lanes," Jack Smith said.

The city already has plans to widen Detroit to three lanes.

"I agree with people making statements about Detroit Road. Detroit should not be widened to five lanes from the Westlake line to Jaycox. However, the interchange could be worked in and not effect Detroit Road," [Councilman] Nickum said ...

"What is the Avon Planning Commission doing to get Chester Road continued through Bradley all the way to Clemens? This way industries and others can access I-90 at both Crocker and SR-83, without having to backtrack," Smith suggested.

He also addressed the consideration of the interchange only available to Avon's industrial corridor ...

Details are still sketchy, but according to Smith, a citizens action committee has been formed to push the I-90 interchange issue.

The Avon Citizens for Traffic Improvement Organization (ACTION) has possible links to the Jacobs Group who two years ago, requested council's support to add an interchange at Nagel Road to complement its 1999 purchase of more than 200 acres of land, but council eventually rejected the interchange.

Tom Smith, [head of the Lorain County Board of Elections] ... is believed to be involved with ACTION but did not return our calls in time to contribute to this story.''

NEWS ARTICLE from The Morning Journal, 12-24-02, By ANDREA MIGHT, Morning Journal Writer

``Private meetings may be banned

AVON -- A new ordinance proposed by two members of City Council would prevent all members of council, the planning commission and the zoning board of appeals from meeting with commercial developers outside of open meetings.

Mark Julius, Ward 1, and Gerald Gentz, Ward 4, proposed the ordinance in response to a proposal by Mayor Jim Smith that Planning Commission Chairman Jim Piazza should hold office hours at City Hall to field calls about development from developers and residents.

Smith would also give Piazza a $15,000 raise ...

Julius and Gentz have said it is wrong for a member of the planning commission to have private meetings with developers prior to an open meeting ...''

More Documents Relating to the June 8, 1998, Decision Against Avon

Newspaper Record of XXXXX/Jacobs in Avon

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