LAKEMORE  A public hearing was held prior to the April 2 Lakemore Village Council regular meeting to hear public input on rezoning ordinances, which were later voted down.

At the April 2 hearing, ordinance 1610-3018 was read. It would rezone parcels on Canton Road from B-1 (retail business) to B2 (general business district). Also read was ordinance 1611-2018, which would rezone parcels on Canton Road from R-2 (single and two family residential) to B-1.

Heather Ward, a Lakemore resident, asked if her property tax bill would increase with the rezoning of her property. Her property is broken down into three parcels and Mayor Rick Justice suggested she have the parcels combined to reduce her taxes. Councilman Josh Timko suggested Ward have her property and property taxes reviewed by the Summit County Fiscal Office. Her property would still be used as residential and officials said it should not change her taxes.

Resident Gary Holl said every time work is completed on Canton Road, more of the roadway is expanded into the right-of-way and the practice has reduced any natural buffer for the houses located along Canton Road. Holl also said that he believed the houses on Canton Road that are subject to the re-zoning has a setback required for a residential zone and that a business-zoned district requires a larger front, side and rear year setback.

Holl suggested the village should wait to be approached by potential buyers to inquire about rezoning a property to business.

Also, during the hearing, Pastor Ndubuisi Nwade of the Seventh Day Adventist Church on Canton Road, inquired about the village zoning code. Nwade asked if Lakemore has a better-suited zoning code and district for a church, as his church is zoned residential. 

Justice explained that a community facility would be the best zoning option for a church, however, churches fall under every zoning code as permissible under conditional use. 

Timko said current uses of a property would not change in these proposed areas. A residential home would remain a residential home if sold. Rezoning just increases the opportunities for other uses.

Nwade asked how the homes surrounding his church were currently zoned and Justice said they were residential, R-2.

Rezoning vote 

At the regularly scheduled council meeting, following the hearing, the zoning ordinance that would rezone parcels on Canton Road from R-2 single and two family residential to B-1 failed.

Council President Rich Cole then made a motion to amend ordinance 1610-2018 to exclude all properties except parcel 54-02895, as the owners of Lakemore Plaza did not approach the Planning Commission requesting the plaza property be rezoned; nor did any property owners subject to the rezoning. 

Justice said that even though the owners of Lakemore Plaza did not formerly request the plaza property to be rezoned, they are happy to allow the property to be rezoned.

Councilwoman Laura Cochran asked if any other property owners requested their properties be rezoned. Cole responded that the Planning Commission reviewed the area subject to rezoning when Akron Center Associates requested that parcel 54-02895 (vacant property behind Lakemore Plaza) be rezoned. The commission determined that the parcels in question would benefit if their properties were rezoned.

Timko said other communities have similar zoning where business zones still maintain residences.

Cole said there is a potential developer for the parcel behind the plaza who has requested the rezoning. Council approved the legislation as amended by 3-2 vote.

A motion was made to adopt ordinance 1611-2018. Timko made a motion to amend the ordinance to exclude all parcels except parcels 54-01813, 54-02612, 54-02873, and 54-02872.  Timko said the four parcels are already used for commercial use and nothing would change.

The motion failed in a 3-2 vote.  

Cole then made a motion to adopt ordinance 1611-2018 in its original entirety. All members of council voted no.

Water issues

Resident David Palider reported the water is very discolored and said all the residents on Martha Avenue have discolored water. Palider said he believes the service line into the house is not the problem and that the Public Service Department back flushed the main line and promised to return every three months. 

Justice said he was unaware of the reoccurring problem and would discuss with the Public Service Foreman to schedule the flushing. 

Vicki Harris of Martha Avenue also reported her water is black and that she is unable to wash clothes, take showers, or drink the water.

In other news

- Justice provided updates on various projects reporting that work is underway on the Spartan Trail and that the Plaza Drive project is progressing. The project should be completed this summer. He also reported two species of bats are planned to migrate to the area, and that tree work should be completed soon. Justice also said two eagles have moved into Waterworks Park. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) has been contacted to determine any potential limitations or liability the village and residents may incur since the eagles arrived. The ODNR provided regulations and and normal activity should not upset the eagles.

- Fire Chief Brett Reinbolt reported the fire department purchased a sauna that will be used to reduce the amount of toxins an officer absorbs after a fire. Reinbolt said officers from other departments have come to look at the sauna in hopes to buy one also.

- A resolution authorizing a loan and a grant from the United States Department of Agriculture for an ambulance remount and an ordinance to amend the budget for USDA funds.

- The re-hiring of Kevin Atkinson and the hiring of Alain Vue for the Fire Department was approved.

- Resident Larry Kovach from Citizens on Preventative Patrol (COPP) thanked everyone who helped put together and run the Easter egg hunt. Kovach said he prefers having the egg hunt at the high school football field and would like to relocate to that location permanently.

Justice also thanked Springfield Local Schools and Superintendent Chuck Sincere for permitting the village to use the football field for the event. 

Announcements:

- Clean up day will be April 21 at 9 a.m. Everyone should meet at the Municipal Building.

- Cole reported the Village of Lakemore Outreach was awarded a grant to support the Share a Christmas event from Northeast Ohio Public Energy Council (NOPEC).

- The annual Memorial Day Parade will be held May 28. The parade will kick off from Lakemore Plaza at 1 p.m. and end at the Memorial Triangle.

- Resident Darla Hershey of the Friends of Lakemore Parks announced the group will hold a quarter auction at Lakemore United Methodist Church from 6 to 10 p.m. May 11. Proceeds will benefit the parks.