Tuesday, May 30, 2017
Avon charter changes to go before voters in November
by Jon Wysochanski
Published on May 24, 2017
AVON -- City Council approved legislation allowing several charter amendments to appear on the November  ballot.
Mayor Bryan Jensen, reached Tuesday regarding the Monday meeting, said prior to the passage there was discussion about whether Council could reject any of the three amendments.
The charter amendments that voters will decide are the elimination of the Parks and Recreation Commission, making any decisions made by City Council involving the planning and zoning code not reviewable by the Board of Zoning Appeals and only appealable in Common Pleas Court, and eliminating language regarding the maximum width of Detroit Road.
Jensen said Law Director John Gasior said state law requires any proposed changes made by the appointed Charter Review Commission, which meets every five years, to appear on the ballot so Council had to approve the three ordinances.
One particular charter amendment that has garnered some attention among business owners in the French Creek District is removing language from the charter that prevents widening of Detroit Road [to more than 3 lanes].
The language was placed in the charter in 2003 during a previous charter review process. This year's commission questioned the need for such language because Detroit Road is a state route and there would be legal wrangling if the state ever opted to widen it.
[There would be no legal wrangling because the State can do whatever it pleases. The purpose of the 3-lane limit on Detroit Rd. was to prevent the Avon Council and the Avon Planning Commissiion from widening Detroit with emergency legislation so that people don't find out what is happening until they see bulldozers in their front yards.] ...
Detroit Road, aka state Route 254, passes through the French Creek District between state Route 83 and French Creek Road and is three lanes from Route 83 to Colorado Avenue, state Route 611. Widening the road would change the district and lead to the destruction of historic buildings, homes and existing businesses, which is one of the reasons the previous commission inserted language regarding the width of the road into the charter.
Jensen has said repeatedly the city has no intention of petitioning the state for funds for a widening.
In other business
City Council approved legislation regulating mobile food trucks. The fire marshal proposed the regulations, which requires food truck vendors to pay $50 per special event or a $125 seasonal special event fee and carry $1 million worth of general liability insurance, to make sure propane tanks are properly installed.
The legislation doesn't apply to ice cream trucks, Meals on Wheels vehicles or commercial food home delivery services.
Contact Jon Wysochanski at 329-7123 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @JonWysochanski.