Here are my notes from the June 8 council meeting:
New Senior Living Project – A group called Omni proposes to invest $25-29 million to build a 144-bed senior-living facility between Hudson and Allen roads. I believe it’s the largest investment into the city since I’ve been on council. It’s projected to begin construction next spring. The completed project will bring $2 million of annual income. The complex will pay about $500K in annual property taxes. The project could be expanded even more to include some property to the south and north. Here is a bird’s-eye view of the plot.
Potential Improvements to High School Traffic Congestion – Council approved up to $400K in funds to improve the Graham/Fishcreek/Newcomer corridor, which sees a lot of congestion because of high school traffic. We will only spend the money if we get an 80-20 match from the State of Ohio. In other words, we expect the total expenditure to be $2 million.
Regional Dispatch Update – The mayor announced that she has signed a memorandum of understanding (“MOU”) with Cuyahoga Falls, Tallmadge and Summit County to enter into a regional council of governments (“COG”). The MOU does not bind the City of Stow to anything, much less enter into a COG. Only city council can do that. The first step will be for the parties to the MOU to hire a consultant to provide guidance on technology, venues, and finances. That, too, will likely have to come before city council (unless Stow’s share of the consulting fee is less than $15,000).
Special Committee to Repeal Stupid Laws – As I announced this week on Facebook and in the Akron Beacon Journal, I have formed a committee of councilmembers to study all ordinances in the City and identify ones that are outdated, unenforceable, over-intrusive, and/or unnecessary — in other words, “stupid laws.” We kicked off the effort by repealing Chapter 713, which forced charities to jump through numerous hoops just to host a fundraiser within city limits. It prohibited anyone under 18 to attend. Most offensive to me: It required charities to disclose all of their volunteers to the government. I hope to repeal a lot of stupid laws in the coming weeks and months. I appointed councilmembers Costello, Riehl and D’Antonio to work on the committee.
Next Meeting – I made a motion to cancel the June 22 meeting, because we had little pressing business, and there’s no reason to pay employees to be there. Our next meeting is now July 13.
Here are my notes from the city council meeting on 5/25:
Meijer site plan amendment
As most of you know, Meijer plans to construct a store at the Stow-Kent Shopping Center, where Stambaugh’s previously sat. Meijer owns the 17.65-acre parcel of land, which is zoned C-4 (general business). A Meijer store fits squarely within those zoning parameters. Put another way, the city has no control over the Meijer project whatsoever, except that we must approve the site plan. If the city were to deny Meijer of this use, then the city would be sued and would be forced to buy the land from Meijer (with money we don’t have).
The company submitted a plan a couple of years ago, but has waited until Big Lots’ lease expires on 1/31/18 to demolish that building, so it can begin construction. Last night, Meijer asked city council to approve an amendment to that site plan. The amendment will reduce the store’s footprint, from 193K sq. ft. to 157K. The amendment nixes the convenience store and gas station. This will increase greenspace. The building will also be shifted away from Stow-Glen Retirement Village.
Meijer will open this store in connection with several other Northeast Ohio stores, including in Mentor, Avon, Lorain and Bainbridge Twp. Here is a photo of the revised site plan:
City council discussed potentially replacing one of the two lodges at Adell Durbin park that have been decommissioned due to age/condition. This is an early-stage discussion. I’m concerned whether it will be prudent to construct a lodge for the estimated $500K to $1MM.
Please join us for the Memorial Day ceremony on Monday at 10:15 a.m. at Stow Cemetery (on 59, across from Holy Family). It’s always a nice event. I will serve as the emcee.
City council will meet next on June 8.