Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Expansion of Former Hoover South Parking Violates City’s Zoning Code, Overburdens City Streets & Storm Sewers, Intrudes On Neighborhood Serenity, and Devalues Residential Properties

Prepared Comments Intended for Presentation to
October 8, 2014 

            Remarks made by a member of this body at its May 7, 2014, meeting characterized the plan to expand the Hoover District South Parking Lot by stating, “A third-grader could have come up with a better plan… this is amateur hour as far as I am concerned.” This Committee was unanimous in its unhappiness with the proposed plan and voted 5-0 to table the plan as proposed. 

With minor changes, this committee reversed itself and voted 5-0 at its September 3, 2014, meeting to approve the site plan with nary any follow-up to concerns raised by citizens or commission members themselves.  

At both of the two previous meetings of this Planning Commission, I quoted former Judge Lee Sinclair, a former member of this Commission said nearly 34 years ago at an October 27, 1980, Planning Commission meeting who said: “We live here because we enjoy the residential nature of our particular home sites.”  

            Any expansion of the South parking lot of the former Hoover Company will not allow residents to enjoy the residential nature of their homes. 

Common sense and decency tell us that this proposed expansion overburdens the City’s  streets and storm sewers; intrudes on the enjoyment of nearby homes and the serenity of our neighborhoods; and devalues residential properties already hard hit from the downturn in the economy. 

The heavily wooded area separating nearby homes has served as a buffer from the activities of the 87 acre Hoover property from the time this city was called New Berlin. Loss of hundreds of trees as well as the loss of the walking trail put in by Stark Parks just two years ago with the expenditure of thousands of taxpayers’ dollars is not acceptable. 

            Not noted in previous remarks before this body are the requirements of North Canton’s Zoning Code. Chapter 1153.08 (b) requires parking spaces to be within 400 feet walking distance of a public entrance of a principal building housing the use for which the parking spaces are intended to serve.
            The southernmost edge of the current parking is already in excess of 400 feet, measuring 407 feet.

            Any plan to expand the south parking lot at this point is in direct violation of the City’s zoning code. Period! 

            This planned expansion should never have been seriously entertained.  

            The entire grove of trees must be maintained as a buffer so City residents can “enjoy the residential nature” of their homes, to the extent that is possible in a neighborhood that already is in decline. 

Please do not accelerate and add to the decay of our neighborhood with increased traffic, noise, obtrusive lighting, flooding and everything else that comes with this development that will change the character of our community. 

            Lastly, I have a petition containing more than 130 names of North Canton residents who are opposed to any expansion of the South parking lot. 

            I ask that you not approve a “conditional use permit” for the expansion of the Hoover District South Parking lot. 

Chuck Osborne