Newspaper Record of XXXXX/JACOBS in Avon,
Ohio -- 1-8-03 to 2-5-03

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1-9-03 NO QUESTIONS ANSWERED!

1-28-03 Council diapproves of Nagel Road interchange blank check

Statement at a meeting of the Avon Planning Commission on 1-8-03 by Taylor J. Smith:

We are discussing matters which will profoundly affect the quality of life in Avon. All questions and studies considered important by the Avon Council should be answered and completed BEFORE a new I-90 interchange near Nagel Road, recommended by the URS traffic engineer, is by ordinance made part of Avon's Master Thoroughfare Plan.

Quoting from the URS Plan, URS proposes to "widen Detroit Road to five lanes, east of Colorado to Crocker Road ... ... these improvements will have a cumulative effect ..." In other words, the URS Plan will not work unless Detroit Road has five lanes of pavement from Colorado Road to the Westlake line, or unless some approach is adopted which will move the traffic burden off Detroit Road.

The following transcript from the tape of the meeting of the Avon Planning Commission on June 12, 2002, makes clear that a new I-90 interchange near Nagel Road will require five lanes of pavement on Detroit Road, or some equivalent approach:

Council President Tom Wearsch: "Is the purpose of the Detroit Road improvement basically because of funnelling residential traffic to the north to get to the interchange?"

URS traffic engineer Eric Smith: "Yes. As that huge green blob on the south-eastern part of the City continues to develop, there's going to be more and more pressure ... Those people need to get to their jobs ... You will find ... we need to get ... 10 million dollars from NOACA to widen Detroit Road. Westlake is looking at it right now ..."

As soon as the Nagel Road interchange becomes part of Avon's Master Thoroughfare Plan, five lanes of pavement on Detroit Road also becomes part of Avon's Master Thoroughfare Plan because of the URS statement of necessity. Currently, Detroit Road is designated an arterial which permits four lanes of pavement. Either five lanes or four lanes are unacceptable to many citizens of Avon.

The URS Plan would turn Detroit Road from Colorado to the Westlake line into something like Lorain St. in North Olmsted. It would be difficult to resist rezoning Detroit Road commercial from SR-83 to the Westlake line if five lanes on Detroit becones Avon's official plan. Before a square foot of pavement in added, a landowner could argue in court that five lanes makes single family residential use impossible.

Next there would be pressure to make Detroit Road five lanes west of Colorado Road to the Sheffield line and zone that commercial also.

Has the effect on Nagel Road of a new I-90 interchange been considered? How many years would traffic coming north on Nagel Road be required to make a dog-leg turn on Chester Road to reach the proposed interchange?

Logically, a new north-south limited access connector should be built before the Nagel Road interchange is constructed. By similar logic, a new east-west limited access connector should be built somewhere between Detroit Road and Mills Road.

AVON'S ORIGINAL COUNTRY ROAD SYSTEM SHOULD NOT BE FORCED TO CARRY OVERWHELMING NEW TRAFFIC BURDENS. These roads have been home for Avonites for generations.

What about 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 dog-leg turn at Chester to get to the interchange? Is there a plan for an overpass on Nagel Road at the tracks?

The cost of any measures necessary to bring cars to the proposed I-90 interchange should be made part of the cost of the interchange itself. This includes the cost of a new north-south limited access connector to be built east of Nagel Road and the cost of a new east-west limited access connector to be built south of Detroit Road.

We should be very reluctant to destroy Avon's small town atmosphere and historic heritage. All studies considered important by the Avon Council should be completed BEFORE a new I-90 interchange near Nagel Road is made part of Avon's Master Thoroughfare Plan.

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NEWS ARTICLE from The Chronicle-Telegram, 1-18-03, By Brad Dicken

[NO QUESTIONS ANSWERED: Proponents refuse to specify the location of the proposed I-90 interchange near Nagel Road]

``AVON -- It's still in the proverbial horizon, but the proposed Interstate 90 interchange at Nagel Road is causing concern over the future of the city.

"I've got nothing against the interchange itself, my problem lies with the effects of the interchange on Avon," said Jack Smith, President of Avon Historical Society.

Smith is one of several residents who have voiced concern over the proposed project, which won't be built for at least 10 years, as Planning Commission has examined incorporating the interchange into the city's master thoroughfare plan.

Planning Commission issued a recommendation Thursday [1-16-03] that City Council do just that.

"It's in our best interests," Commission Chairman Jim Piazza said ...

Jack Smith said his primary concern is where the interchange will actually be built and how it will be handled to avoid the expansion of Detroit Road to five lanes. He said the best way to handle that might be building additional north-south and east-west roads to handle the extra traffic from the interchange.

"It's very dangerous to make the interchange part of the master thoroughfare plan without knowing exactly where it's going," Jack Smith said.

Piazza said it's impossible to know where the interchange will go because the city is trying to plan for future development 20 years out ...''

Contact Brad Dicken at bdicken@chronicletelegram.com.

NEWS ARTICLE from The Morning Journal, 1-9-03, By ANDREA MIGHT, Morning Journal Writer

``AVON -- More than 30 residents and business representatives filled City Council's caucus room last night and spilled out into the hallway to debate the possibility of a new Interstate 90 interchange.

Pros and cons were presented at the Avon Planning Commission work session on the possibility of the new interchange.

Although an exact location has not yet been chosen, planners said the interchange would be somewhere between Nagel Road and the Cuyahoga County line. [The proponents refused to answer a direct question regarding the location.]

A location will only be chosen if the planning commission and City Council approve the plan and the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency and Ohio Department of Transportation get involved in the planning, according to the planning commission's chairman, Jim Piazza.

Avon resident Jack Smith said he is against the interchange if it means widening Detroit Road to four or five lanes, as was suggested in a traffic study conducted by URS Corp.

''As soon as the Nagel Road interchange becomes part of Avon's Master Thoroughfare Plan, five lanes of pavement on Detroit Road also becomes part of Avon's Master Thoroughfare Plan,'' Smith said. ''Either five or four lanes are unacceptable to many citizens of Avon.'' ...

John Kahl, chief executive officer for Henkle Consumer Products, formerly Manco, said the interchange will bring more restaurants, which will help him bring quality employees to his business ...

Del Fisher, a member of the Avon Historical Society, said it would be better for people to be willing to go a little bit slower so the historical areas of the city could be preserved ...

Several members of City Council attended the work session, and some said they were in favor of the interchange.

''I am for the interchange 100 percent because of industry,'' said Ward 2 Councilwoman Carol Hartwig ...

The planning commission is scheduled to vote on the issue at next Thursday's meeting [1-16-03]. It would then go to council.

The interchange debate has been ongoing for two years, starting when the Jacob's Group requested council's support to add an interchange at Nagel Road to complement its 1999 purchase of about 225 acres of land.

The company 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 and Crocker Road in Westlake.

Council eventually rejected the interchange.

In October 2001, URS Corp. began a $40,000 traffic study for the city, and presented its findings in June 2002. The study projected how much traffic would be going through Avon and what the city has to do to accommodate it. One suggestion was to add an I-90 interchange somewhere between SR 83 and Westlake.

About 40 residents filled council chambers for an October public hearing to voice opposition to the interchange. No one said they were in favor of it that night.

In November [2001], council unanimously decided to postpone the decision and sent it back to planning commission for further discussion.

''Why can't we just take a breath?'' said Councilman at large Jack Kilroy in November. ''There's no hurry.''

Mayor Jim Smith said it is important to consider the interchange now to plan for future growth because it takes about 10 years to get an interchange approved and built. [ John Kahl, Jack's son, said the interchange would be complete within five years.] ...''

For more information, email amight@morningjournal.com

NEWS ARTICLE from The Morning Journal, 1-17-03, By ANDREA MIGHT, Morning Journal Writer

``Commission votes to add Avon I-90 interchange

AVON -- Avon Planning Commission last night unanimously voted to recommend to council a new Interstate 90 interchange be included in Avon's Master Thoroughfare Plan ...

One resident at the meeting voiced his objections, though, to including it in the plan because the recommendation is so vague.

''I really think you need to get some questions answered before recommending that you make that part of the master thoroughfare plan,'' said Avon resident Jack Smith. ''I think you need to know exactly where this is going to be before you make it part of the master thoroughfare plan.''

Smith was referring to the fact that the ordinance states the interchange will be somewhere between Nagel Road and the Cuyahoga County line ...

Two years ago, the Jacob's Group requested council's support in adding an interchange at Nagel Road to complement its 1999 purchase of about 225 acres. The company planned to build a 500-acre complex of single-family homes, offices and restaurants and wanted the $15 million interchange between exits at SR 83 in Avon and Crocker Road in Westlake.

Council eventually rejected the new interchange.

At past Council and Planing Commission meetings, residents have opposed the potential interchange. However, members of Avon's business community said they support the proposal.

At other meetings, Jack Smith has said he is against the interchange ... if it means widening Detroit Road to four or five lanes, as was suggested by a traffic study ...''

Contact amight@morningjournal.com

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NEWS ARTICLE from The Morning Journal, 1-28-03, By ANDREA MIGHT, Morning Journal Writer

[Council diapproves of Nagel Road interchange blank check]

``AVON -- A new interchange on Interstate 90 won't be added to the city's master road plan because City Council wasn't given a more exact location.

Council voted 4-3 last night against an ordinance that would have changed the master thoroughfare plan to allow an interchange somewhere between Nagel Road and the Cuyahoga County line.

Voting against the ordinance were Jack Kilroy, at large; Mark Julius, Ward 1; Carol Hartwig, Ward 2; and Gerald Gentz, Ward 4.

In favor of the interchange were Council President Thomas Wearsch; JoAnne Easterday, at-large; and Tim Nickum, Ward 3.

As the ordinance read, an exact location has not been chosen for the I-90 interchange.

Planners have only said the interchange will be between Nagel Road and the Cuyahoga County line ...

''We have to be aware of the consequences of the decision,'' said Kilroy. ''We're wise to take another look at it.''

Hartwig voted no last night ...

''I still want it, but I didn't like the sketch we had,'' she said last night. ''It doesn't have to be on Nagel Road.''

Gentz agreed.

''My biggest concern is that it will have to be Nagel Road,'' he said.

Many residents said they are against the new interchange because they are concerned that it could bring an increased amount of traffic, forcing the city to widen Detroit Road to four or five lanes ...

Two years ago, the Jacobs Group requested council's support in adding an interstate interchange at Nagel Road to complement its 1999 purchase of about 225 acres of land, where it planned to build a 500-acre complex of single-family homes, offices and restaurants.

Council eventually rejected the new interchange ...''

amight@morningjournal.com

NEWS ARTICLE from The Press, 1-29-03, By Julie A. Short

``AVON -- With a surprising 4-3 vote Monday night, Avon City Council members put the stops to an ordinance to amend the city's Master Thoroughfare Plan to construct an I-90 interchange east of Nagel Road citing a more exact location is needed.

Voting against the ordinance were Council members Gerald Gentz, Carol Hartwig, Mark Julius and Jack Kilroy. Those in favor the interchange were JoAnne Easterday, Tim Nickum and Tom Wearsch.

As the ordinance read, an exact location was not given. Planners have only said that the interchange would be between Nagel Road and the Cuyahoga County line.

Wearsch proposed amending the ordinance to tighten up the location site. The interchange could be constructed east of Nagel connecting the proposed north/south corridor of the city. This did not sit well with Kilroy.

"If we are changing things, then shouldn't this go back to Planning Commission?" he asked ...

Mayor Jim Smith expressed his disappointed at Council's decision ...

The mayor also noted that Avon will grow to 35,000 residents at full build out, a figure challenged by Wearsch. "Avon could see 50,000 residents in the next 15-20 years," he said ..."

Kilroy has been outspoken in his message that city officials need to take "take a breath" regarding the interchange.

"We need to be very aware of the consequences," he said. "We are wise to take another look at it."

Wearsch noted that the item would be placed back on Council's work session agenda for future discussion ...''

NEWS ARTICLE from The Press, 2-5-03, By Julie A. Short

``AVON -- Last week council members made the decision not to adopt changes to the city's Master Thoroughfare Plan to construct an interchange on I-90.

During many public meetings ... Avon historian, Taylor "Jack" Smith, has raised questions regarding the interchange ...

Regarding the 4-3 vote of the defeated ordinance, Smith noted that there are still questions that need to be answered.

"I think council should have all studies completed and all the important questions answered before making the Nagel Road interchange part of the Master Thoroughfare Plan," he said.

"What will this interchange cost Avon, both in dollars and in quality of life?" [ The cost of the interchange should include the cost of bringing cars to the interchange]

Smith also voiced concerns regarding industrial development. "I'm all for industrial development, but, despite repeated requests, the Avon administration has not come forward with even one letter from a manufacturing company saying they would locate in Avon if there were an I-90 interchange at Nagel Road," Smith said.

"Such an interchange would make big box stores possible or the type of development on Rockside Road in Independence, but this has nothing to do with industrial development." ...

Smith has a problem with the interchange if it means constructing five lanes of pavement on Detroit Road ...

"As soon as the Nagel Road interchange becomes part of Avon's Master Thoroughfare Plan, five lanes of pavement on Detroit Road also becomes part of the plan because of the URS statement of necessity," Smith said. URS is the Akron-based company that conducted the Master Thoroughfare Plan study.

"The URS plan would turn Detroit Road from Colorado to the Westlake line into something like Lorain Road in North Olmsted," Smith said.

"It would be difficult to resist rezoning Detroit Road commercial from SR 83 to the Westlake line if five lanes on Detroit Road becomes Avon's official plan. Before a square foot of pavement is added, a landowner could argue in court that five lanes make single-family residential use impossible."

Smith also raised additional questions ...

"What is planning commission doing to get Chester Road continued through Bradley Road all the way to Clemens?" he asked. "This way industries and others can access I-90 at both Crocker and SR-83 without having to backtrack."

An alternative ... is a commuter rail that Smith is in favor of. "On a commuter train to Cleveland, one could read and enjoy the ride, in contrast with spending hours in traffic gripping a steering wheel," he explained.

"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." Council members have already passed a resolution in support of a commuter rail line.

The main reason given for council's defeat of the ordinance was the unclear placement of the interchange.

"I need to know exactly where it will be and also, who controls the land," Councilman Gerald Gentz said. "If we are talking Nagel specifically, there is already too much traffic as it is. I want to hear other options." ...

After the vote came down, Smith was glad council members decided to revisit the issue and not add it the Master Thoroughfare Plan at this time.

"I agree with Councilman Kilroy, there is no rush for this (interchange)," Smith said. ... NO QUESTIONS HAVE BEEN ANSWERED ..." ''

NEWS ARTICLE from The Morning Journal, 2-5-03, By ANDREA MIGHT, Morning Journal Writer

``AVON -- A week after it was defeated by a 4-3 vote, a proposal for adding an interchange on Interstate 90 was back on City Council's agenda, upsetting some council members.

Council President Thomas Wearsch said he wanted to revisit the issue at Monday's meeting [2-3-03], despite its defeat, but Mark Julius, Ward 1, and Gerald Gentz, Ward 4, said they didn't think it was his responsibility to bring it up again ...

Wearsch said he thought the idea needed more discussion and said he wanted to see if there were minor concerns to iron out to reconsider passing it ...

''In thinking about this and reviewing this, I wasn't sure if there was a general objection to it,'' Wearsch said, adding that council rules allow it to reconsider a defeated ordinance. ''We have until the next regular council meeting [2-10-03] to reconsider.''

''I question the decision of the chairman to bring this back to council after being defeated one week prior,'' Julius said. ''You have solely picked this out and said we can rediscuss it because you think it's important.'' ...

Planners had only said the interchange would be between Nagle Road and the Cuyahoga County line, and Hartwig, Gentz, Julius and Jack Kilroy, at large, said they voted no last week because a more specific location was not chosen ...''

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

Newspaper Record of XXXXX/Jacobs in Avon

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