Newspaper Record of XXXXX/JACOBS in Avon,
Ohio -- 5-7-03 to Present

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5-7-03 Councilman Jack Kilroy seeks moratorium on building demolition

5-22-03 I-90 interchange proposed again for Nagel Road

5-28-03 Charter Review Commission finalizes amendments

6-11-03 Cleveland Clinic eyes Avon area for new facility

LETTER TO THE EDITOR of The Morning Journal by Taylor J. Smith

The Avon Charter Review Commission has voted to recommend to Council to place on the ballot the following Landmark Preservation charter amendment:

``A Landmarks Preservation Commission shall be created and shall consist of four (4) members who are residents of the community not holding other municipal office or appointment. One member shall be appointed by the Mayor, one by the Avon Historical Society, one by the French Creek Development Association and one by the Avon Garden Club. All appointments shall require the concurrence of the majority of the membership of the legislative authority.

If any organization is unable to make its appointment, the Commission, with the concurrence of the majority of the membership of the legislative authority, shall designate another Avon organization to make an appointment.

Members of the Commission shall serve for a term of four (4) years except that of the first four (4) members appointed, the mayoral appointee shall be appointed for a period not to exceed the term of the Mayor, the Avon Garden Club appointee shall serve a term of one (1) year, the Avon Historical Society appointee shall serve a term of three (3) years, and the French Creek Development Association appointee shall serve a term of four (4) years,

A vacancy occurring during the term of any member shall be filled by the Mayor or appointing organization. The Mayor may remove any member with the concurrence of two-thirds (2/3) of the legislative authority. Unless otherwise provided by ordinance, the members of the Commission will serve without compensation.

Duties and Powers

The Landmarks Preservation Commission shall cause to be conducted a survey to establish a register of Avon's landmarks to raise community awareness of Avon's history and historic resources.

The owner of a property in Avon, which is designated a landmark, may appeal to the Landmarks Preservation Commission to have the property removed from the register of landmarks.

No person or governmental body owning a registered landmark shall demolish said landmark without a demolition permit issued by the Commission. The Commission shall issue a demolition permit no later than six months after receiving the application for said permit.

The Landmarks Preservation Commission shall perform such other duties as may be imposed upon it by this Charter and by ordinances and resolutions of the legislative authority which shall appropriate each year a sufficient sum to carry out the duties of the Commission.''

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NEWS ARTICLE from The Press, 5-7-03, By Julie A. Short

Councilman Jack Kilroy seeks moratorium on building demolition

``AVON -- Preserving Avon's history has been a hot topic of discussion for city officials and long-time residents. As the city continues to grow and more development occurs, many of Avon's older buildings/houses are in danger of being demolished.

Councilman Jack Kilroy would like to see to it that this does not happen. He would like the city to impose a moratorium on the demolition of any building more than 60 years old and hire a professional to survey and register the buildings.

"We need to maintain the value and character of the community," Kilroy said. "The way it looks and feels. That is why historic preservation ordinances are so important. I would hate to see us demolish old buildings. This moratorium would prohibit people from taking out demolition permits for buildings over 60 years old." ...

"The Historical Society was supposed to be getting back to the members of the planning commission regarding historic preservations," Planning Coordinator Jim Piazza said. "Members of the Charter Review Commission decided to tackle the historic preservation issue themselves."

The Charter Review Commission recently voted to place a proposed charter amendment on the November ballot that is similar to Kilroy's recommendations. The amendment would require that a survey be conducted to establish a registry of Avon's landmarks.

A Landmarks Preservation Commission would be established which would be responsible for issuing demolition permits. The Commission could issue a demolition permit no later than six months after receiving the application. Obvious unsafe structures would be given quick consideration.

The commission would consist of four members, one of which will be appointed by the mayor, one will be appointed by the Avon Garden Club, one appointed by the Avon Historical Society and the final appointment from the French Creek Development Association.

"We can go forward with a survey, but first make sure nothing gets torn down before the people get a chance to vote," Kilroy said. "I think we shouldn't waste any time on this. We should hire a professional to register the buildings as soon as possible."

The survey, which Kilroy believes could be complete in a matter of months, would create a database of historic places, including those already designated on the National Register of Historic Places.

"I think whether or not the issue passes in November, we should take inventory now," Kilroy said.

Charter Review Commission Chairman Taylor "Jack" Smith is pleased that council is taking a proactive approach to historic preservation.

"I feel very good about what Mr. Kilroy is doing," he said. "I had expressed my concern that one of the houses already listed on the National Register is rumored to be purchased and eventually torn down. The National Register does not protect buildings from demolition [unless federal funds are used]. It is a good idea to get the survey done as soon as possible."

Smith also stated that Jean Fischer, along with the other members of the Avon Historical Society, has been compiling an ongoing list of homes that are 100 years or older.

"The Historical Society began doing this because many owners of these homes wanted plaques for placement on the home identifying it as a century home. The Historical Society has been issuing the plaques," Smith said.''

LETTER TO THE EDITOR of The Press, 4-30-03, by Taylor J. Smith

``Opponents of Detroit Rd. preservation are repeating the line that "it does not belong in the city charter," perhaps hoping that voters will be convinced by repetition of a propaganda slogan. The truth is that Avon's Charter is the only place that Detroit Rd. preservation can be accomplished. Look at the facts:

Quality of life goals such as zoning and parks are already addressed in Avon's Charter, although this is not necessary to provide a framework for city government.

Avon's Law Director has researched the question and has found no legal obstacle to including in Avon's Charter "Neither Council nor Planning Commission shall act to widen the pavement on Detroit Road ... to more than thirty-six (36) feet, or to divide said pavement into more than three (3) lanes, or to use funds under the control of the City for such a widening or division ..."

We believe that the appearance of Detroit Road is a fundamental feature of Avon's small town atmosphere; and it should be protected in the most fundamental way possible, in Avon's Charter. We also believe that the voters should make this decision.''

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NEWS ARTICLE from The Morning Journal, 6-3-03, By JENNIFER HICKIN, Morning Journal Writer

``I-90 exit talk detoured for info

AVON -- After hearing the planning commission's latest proposal for an Interstate 90 interchange location, members of City Council last night [6-2-03] raised questions and concerns about it and said they needed more information before the proposal goes to a vote.

The plan puts the interchange somewhere at least 600 feet and no more than 900 feet east of Nagel Road.

Jerry Gentz, Ward 4, said he can't vote for the proposal unless there is a guarantee the traffic isn't going to end up on Nagel Road.

''My big concern is protecting Nagel Road because it can't handle it (traffic),'' Gentz said.

The proposal includes a parallel road that would not deposit the traffic on Nagel Road but rather on Schwartz Road, according to James Piazza, city planning coordinator ...

According to the Web site of the Lorain County Auditor's Office, the interchange would require land now owned by a few local property holders and JS Avon North LLC, which has the same Westlake address as the Jacobs Group of Cleveland ...

''Why not put it on Jaycox Road?'' asked Councilman at large Jack Kilroy, saying Jaycox Road doesn't have schools or churches on it, unlike Nagel Road ...

A question that still remains is whether it is possible to require the new north-south road to be built at the same time of the interchange.

Although that and other questions went unanswered, council decided to put the proposed legislation on the agenda of its next meeting and to plan a meeting with a representative of the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency to answer some questions.''

NEWS ARTICLE from The Morning Journal, 5-22-03, By JENNIFER HICKIN, Morning Journal Writer

[I-90 interchange proposed again for Nagel Road]

``AVON -- A proposal for a new I-90 interchange in Avon has been revived and was on the Avon Planning Commission's agenda last night, this time with a more exact location to satisfy City Council.

The proposal, aired at a short public hearing at the start of last night's meeting, places the interchange somewhere at least 600 feet and no more than 900 feet east of Nagel Road, according to James Piazza, the city's planning coordinator ...

Previously, the planning commission had recommended to council placing the interchange east of Nagel Road and west of the Cuyahoga County line, but council wanted a more exact location.

In November, instead of adding the interchange to the city's master thoroughfare plan, council decided to allow the debate to continue and unanimously voted to send the matter back to planning commission for further discussion.

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 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.

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 ...

If council eventually decides to pass an ordinance approving the interchange, a $150,000 study has to be conducted by the city and the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency.''

NEWS ARTICLE from The Morning Journal, 5-23-03, By TARA YORK ELLIS and JENNIFER HICKIN, Morning Journal Writers

``AVON -- ... a location has been pinpointed for a proposed I-90 interchange ...

The Avon Planning Commission on Wednesday [5-21-03] picked a location just east of Nagel Road ...

The latest proposal puts the interchange somewhere at least 600 feet and no more than 900 feet east of Nagel Road, and apparently requiring land now owned by a few local property holders, according to the Lorain County auditor's Web site, and JS Avon North LLC, which has the same Westlake address as the Jacobs Group of Cleveland ...

The interchange would be just on the other side of Just Imagine Drive [Chester Rd.] from a 209-acre parcel purchased by Jacobs in 1999 as part of a $5.4 million sale ...

Jack Kilroy, at-large member, said he would ''need a compelling case'' to support the interchange, but said he was ''somewhat open-minded.''

He said placing the interchange 600 feet away from Nagel Road is the same thing as placing it on the road since 600 feet is the length of a short exit and the traffic would have to go somewhere.

If the idea is to have a parallel road [parallel to Nagel Road], Kilroy said he would like to see it first.

''I'd like to see the road built and then go from there,'' he said ...

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 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 ...

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 proposed location will be on the agenda of council's next work session [6-2-03] ...''

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NEWS ARTICLE from The Press, 5-14-03, By Julie A. Short

``Charter Review Commission finalizes amendments

AVON -- It hasn't been an easy road for the Charter Review Commission, but the group managed to stay the course and has officially completed its mission. After surviving the resignation of three members and two alternates in March, the six-member group has been meeting every Thursday for the past three months to discuss amendments to the city's charter.

The final outcome, which will be recommended to city council members later this month, is six amendments to the charter that voters will consider for the November election.

"I'm very pleased with the work of the Charter Review Commission," Chairman Taylor "Jack" Smith said. "We accomplished a great deal of work and I am thankful to the members of the commission." ...

The proposed charter amendment for the preservation of Detroit Road states that "neither council nor the planning commission shall act to widen the pavement on Detroit Road in the city of Avon to more than 36-feet, or to divide said pavement into more than three lanes, or to use funds under the control of the city for such widening or division, except at intersections and approaches to intersections with arterial or collector public streets."

City officials have already stated that they have no intention of widening Detroit Road past three lanes, but the commission would like the voters to decide.

"We do not want Detroit Road to turn in Lorain Street in North Olmsted," Smith said. "It is a quality of life issue. We must preserve the integrity of Detroit Road."

Even during the final meeting of the commission, Hoekstra reiterated his point regarding the purpose of the charter.

"I still believe that the Detroit Road item does not belong in our charter," he said.

[A NO vote on Detroit Rd. Preservation is still a NO vote, regardless of the reason. Some of those who want to tear down and pave over Avon's historic heritage are urging people to vote no because they say that Detroit Rd. Preservation is too trivial to include in Avon's Charter. With almost 800 new homes approved in the vicinity of French Creek Rd. and Colorado Rd., it's not difficult to predict which part of Detroit Rd. will go first to five lanes if the Detroit Rd. Preservation Amendment fails.]

The second amendment for consideration is the creation of a Landmark Preservation Commission consisting of four members who are residents of the community not holding other municipal offices or appointments. The Landmark Preservation Commission "shall cause to conduct a survey to establish a register of Avon's landmarks to raise community awareness of Avon's history and historic resources ..."

The legislative action amendment deals with affirmative votes needed to pass legislation and the number of votes needed to suspend the rules to act on legislation. Currently, the charter states "each emergency measure shall contain a statement of the necessity of such an emergency action, and shall require the affirmative vote of three-fourths of the membership of the legislative authority for the suspension of rules and for its enactment." The proposed amendment removes the phase "for its enactment," ...

The parks director amendment will place the position in line with other director appointments. The parks director shall be appointment by the mayor with the concurrence of a majority of the membership of the legislative authority, not to exceed the mayor's term of office. The director of parks may be removed from office by the mayor, but such removal shall not take place without the concurrence of two-thirds of the membership of the legislative authority.

The civil service commission amendment is a word change. Currently the charter states that the mayor may at any time suspend any commissioner for inefficiency, neglect of duty, malfeasance, misfeasance or nonfeasance in office, incapacity or incompetency; provided, however that such suspension shall not become final without the concurrence of two-thirds of the membership of the legislative authority. The words "suspend" and "suspension," are being replaced with "remove" and "removal."

Finally, voters will consider adding the words "unless otherwise provided by ordinance," to the sentence "all plans, recommendations and regulations made by the planning commission shall be submitted to the council for approval before the same shall be considered official," within the boards and commissions-planning commission-duties and powers ...

"We hope the voters approve of our efforts," Smith said. " I hope six is the lucky number. We are happy with this and have concluded the work of the Charter Review Commission."''

NEWS ARTICLE from The Morning Journal, 5-28-03, By JENNIFER HICKIN, Morning Journal Writer

``Avon to decide on widening

AVON -- As required by the city's charter, City Council voted last night [5-27-03] to put six proposed charter amendments on the November ballot, including one to keep Detroit Road from ever being widened [beyond 3 lanes of pavement] ...

Currently, the pavement on Detroit Road can be widened to 48 feet and four lanes, with recommendations being made from a [URS] traffic study that it be widened to five lanes to carry cars to a proposed I-90 interchange, according to a report submitted to council by Taylor Smith, the chairman of the charter commission ...

In an attempt to preserve city landmarks, a proposed amendment requires up to a six-month waiting period before an owner of a registered landmark can demolish a landmark building.

During this waiting period, a Landmarks Preservation Commission would provide the owner with other possible options besides demolition. The owner would still have the option to demolish the building at the end of the six-month waiting period ...

The Avon charter is automatically reviewed every five years by a group of residents who are selected by city council.

In other business, council voted to allow the mayor to enter into an agreement to purchase the property at 36145 Detroit Road, currently [formerly] home to the Curiosity Shop.

Purchasing this property increases the amount of land the city owns around the fire station allowing for future development, according to Kilroy.''

REPORT TO COUNCIL by Taylor J. Smith, Chairman of the Charter Review Commission, 5-19-03

``Six amendments to the Avon City Charter are proposed for the November 4, 2003, election by the Charter Review Commission, and they have been submitted to Council as ordinances.

The subject of Ordinance 119-03 is Detroit Road Preservation. Quoting from the ordianace: "Neither Council nor Planning Commission shall act to widen the pavement on Detroit Road ... to more than thirty-six (36) feet, or to divide said pavement into more than three (3) lanes ..."

Currently Detroit Road is designated an arterial which permits a pavement width of forty-eight feet and four lanes. URS has recommended that the pavement on Detroit Road be widened to five lanes to carry cars to a proposed I-90 interchange. It could be argued, especially since the recent Mayfield decision by the Ohio Supreme Court, that, because Avon's official position is either four or five lanes of pavement on Detroit Road, the entire length of Detroit Road should be zoned commercial now, even before another square foot of pavement is added.

Opponents of Detroit Road preservation say that it does not belong in the city Charter. The truth is that Avon's Charter is the only place that Detroit Road preservation can be accomplished. Quality of life goals such as zoning and parks are already addressed in Avon's Charter, although they are not necessary to provide a framework for city government.

The appearance of Detroit Road is a fundamental feature of Avon's small town atmosphere, and Detroit Road is the setting for much of Avon's historic heritage. Preserving Detroit Road is an important quality of life goal, and the people should decide its future.

The subject of Ordinance 120-03 is landmark preservation. The main point of this Charter amendment is that the owner of a registered landmark could be required to wait up to six months to demolish a landmark. The purposes of this waiting period include assisting the landmark owner in finding another use for the landmark, in applying for a low interest loan, or in moving the landmark to another site.

A Landmarks Preservation Commission is created which shall cause to be conducted a survey to establish a register of Avon's landmarks to raise community awareness of Avon's history and historic resources.

The subject of Ordinance 121-03 is amending Article VI, Section 4, of the Charter, entitled "Civil Service Commission - Removal." Currently the Charter states that the Mayor may at any time suspend a commissioner for various reasons provided that such suspension shall not become final without the concurrence of two-thirds of Council. This amendment proposes that the words "suspend" and "suspension," be replaced with the words "remove" and "removal."

The subject of Ordinance 122-03 is the amendment of two sections of Article IV, "The Council". Section 12 deals with the number of affirmative votes needed to pass legislation. The words "eligible to vote" are struck so that a majority of the entire Council is required, not just a majority of those members present at a Council meeting. The words "Unless otherwise provided herein" are relocated so that there is no conflict between Section 12 and other provisions of the Charter which require more than a majority.

Article IV, Section 14(c) is clarified with this amendment so that the number of votes needed to enact emergency legislation is a majority of Council. Currently, the Charter states "each emergency measure shall ... require the affirmative vote of three-fourths of the membership of the legislative authority for the suspension of rules and for its enactment." The proposed amendment removes the words "for its enactment," to make clear that all that is needed for enactment of the emergency legislation is a majority as stated in Section 12.

The subject of Ordinance 122-03 is the Parks Director. This amendment will bring this position in line with other director appointments. The Parks Director shall be appointment by the Mayor with the concurrence of a majority of the membership of the legislative authority, not to exceed the Mayor's term of office.

The subject of Ordinance 124-03 is Article VII, Section 2(b), Paragraph 3 of the "Duties and Powers" of the Planning Commission. The words "Unless otherwise provided by ordinance," are added to the beginning of the sentence "all plans, recommendations and regulations made by the planning commission shall be submitted to the Council for approval ..."

A Vehicle Access Street Grid amendment was discussed by the Charter Review Commision but not recommended to Council. URS supplied no traffic numbers for the master thorougfare plan south of I-90 except for Detroit and Colorado -- five lanes on each. As a result, even if all the missing links of the master thoroughfare plan were filled in, there is no way to know the level of service for any population or year.

Six hundred homes have been approved between French Creek Road and Colorado; and 195 homes have been approved in the vicinity of Moon Road and French Creek Road. In a few of years, unless the housing bubble bursts, driving to the Avon post office from the corner of Moon and French Creek may take more time than driving to Cleveland.

Council and Planning Commission should investigate a vehicle access street grid to enable traffic to move easily through Avon. Such a grid would also make it easier for cars to get out of the developments.

The members of the Charter Review Commission thank Council for this opportunity to serve our community. We hope that the voters will favorably consider our work.''

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NEWS ARTICLE from The Morning Journal, 6-11-03, By JENNIFER HICKIN, Morning Journal Writer

``Cleveland Clinic eyes Avon area for new facility

AVON -- The Cleveland Clinic is interested in locating some kind of medical facility in Avon, but Clinic sources indicated it would not be a full-service hospital as Avon Mayor Jim Smith has been quietly telling people.

The one thing that seemed certain ... is that a presentation will be made to City Council on Monday [6-16-03].

''The proposal is a family health center,'' said Fred Degrandis, president of the Cleveland Clinic Health System Western Region. He said it would be similar to the Westlake Family Health Center in the types of services offered, but not necessarily in size.

The Westlake Family Health Center provides primary and specialty care along with diagnostic testing, according to the Clinic's Web site.

''At this point we're not able to make any comment,'' said Eileen Caruso Sheil, Cleveland Clinic spokeswoman. ''It's really in the early stages, and our leadership doesn't want to comment.''

Dr. Floyd Loop, the CEO of the Cleveland Clinic, is expected to make a presentation to council during a work session on Monday, according to a source ...

Council members said they were told the facility would be a full-service hospital, but they declined to say who told them ...

''Council received the information from me,'' said [Mayor Jim] Smith ..., adding that he told council verbally about the Clinic possibly building a hospital. He said no official plans have been presented to council.

''We have talked about the possibilities,'' he said.

Smith said he had not inflated the proposal, adding that perhaps the Clinic didn't want to reveal its scope at this time.

Jack Kilroy, council at-large, said he thought the Clinic proposal was being brought up now to coincide with a proposal for a new interchange on Interstate 90.

''I think it's timed to a vote on the interchange,'' said Kilroy, adding he thinks the Clinic proposal is going to be the ''club to beat anyone down who is opposed'' to the interchange ...

Although many in the city administration, council and planning commission knew about it, the Clinic proposal has never been discussed publicly.

The location the Clinic is considering, said Smith, is in the Nagel Road area and falls within the proposed I-90 interchange plan.

Council is considering a plan that puts the interchange somewhere at least 600 feet and no more than 900 feet east of Nagel Road.

In the past, property near SR 83 and Chester Road was being considered by the Clinic, according to a source.

''I would say yes,'' said [Council member JoAnne] Easterday when asked if she thought the Clinic proposal was being pushed at this time to help the interchange proposal ...

While confirming that the company owns property on Nagel and Chester roads under the name of JS Avon North LLC, a representative of The Richard E. Jacobs Group Inc. said he had ''no comment'' on whether the company had been approached by the Cleveland Clinic about selling its property. There is ''nothing we can share'' about plans for developing the Avon property, said Jim Eppele.

He said it has not been decided whether a representative of the company will be attending Monday's council meeting ...

''I'm a little skeptical about it,'' said Kilroy. ''I'll believe it when I see something more concrete,'' noting it has been rumored for over a year that the Clinic wants to build in Avon.

It ''depends on the terms,'' said Kilroy about whether he is interested in seeing the Clinic build in the city. He said he doesn't think the Clinic coming should be part of the interchange, but if they want to come in general he would consider it ...''

NEWS ARTICLE from The Chronicle-Telegram, 6-12-03, By Adrian Burns

``AVON -- In a statement Wednesday [6-11-03], the Cleveland Clinic confirmed its interest in building a medical facility in Avon.

"We are in the preliminary stages of exploring a new option for (western suburb) residents," the Clinic said in a statement.

No one would say, however, just what type of medical facility might be constructed.

"I think it's still very early," said Eileen Sheil, spokeswoman for the Cleveland Clinic.

Clinic CEO Dr. Floyd Loop will make a presentation Monday [6-16-03] to Council during a work session.

"He'll give a little explanation Monday night about what they re looking for," said Avon Mayor Jim Smith ...

The area being considered for a medical facility in Avon is near Chester and Nagel Road, said Smith. That location is also significant because Council had been considering a plan that puts an I-90 interchange in that area, which is east of Nagel Road.

"Different people within the city have said that approving the interchange would be critical to the Cleveland Clinic coming to build here," said Jack Kilroy, an At-large councilman.

Kilroy said he welcomes a medical facility in Avon, both for its provision of health care, and for the economic benefits it would bring to the city. However, Kilroy said that the facility and the interchange shouldn't rely on each other.

"I don't think the Council should be subject to blackmail, where if we don't approve the interchange then the hospital won't come," Kilroy said.

JoAnne Easterday, an At-large councilwoman, said it is important to explore the interchange's relation to the Cleveland Clinic's willingness to build.

"The question should be asked if their coming is contingent on the interchange," Easterday said.''

Contact Adrian Burns at aburns@chronicletelegram.com.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR of The Press, 6-11-03, By George Bliss

How can we even think of an interchange east of Nagel Road or even at Nagel Road without having an east/west access into Cuyahoga County? It does not make any sense to have Detroit Road/Nagel Road as the only access to this proprosed interchange. It will also increase Westlake's Detroit Road traffic in the developing Bradley Road area.

However, making a connection from Chester Road [Just Imagine] to Clemens Road could alleviate the need for this interchange for years to come. Go over Westlake's head. NOACA? ODOT?

George O. Bliss, Avon

More on the Clinic story

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

Newspaper Record of XXXXX/Jacobs in Avon

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