Council members said they oppose commercial encroachment on a residential area.
By PETER H. MILLIKEN
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
CANFIELD -- Ameritech will explore other options but doesn't plan to leave Scott Street, a company engineer said after city council unanimously rejected a rezoning proposal designed to accommodate the expansion of an Ameritech telephone switching station there.
In rejecting the rezoning proposal for 28 Scott St., adjacent to Ameritech, from single-family residential to commercial Wednesday, council followed the recommendation of the city's planning and zoning commission, which had unanimously voted against the rezoning.
Gary Kekel of Scott Street said Ameritech has been a good neighbor, but he objected to the rezoning because he considered it a commercial intrusion into a residential area.
His wife, Cheryl, objected on the basis that Ameritech was planning to demolish a 1920-vintage house there to provide for parking that would have been displaced by the building expansion.
Response: An Ameritech building engineer, Karl J. Kressler, confirmed that the house was to have been demolished for parking, but he said the company would have provided a wrought iron fence, trees and shrubs as a buffer between its facility and the adjacent residences.
Explaining the company had too much invested in the site to move, Kressler said other options will now be considered, including expansion on the current site, with possible arrangements to use an adjacent church parking lot.
The expansion at the Ameritech building, 18 Scott Street, is the headquarters of the 533 exchange, is needed because of growing demand for phone service linked to residential and business growth in the area and demand for fax lines and second lines for computers, he said.
"We can't get any more equipment in the building. We're just landlocked. We've got to do something with this building in order to keep up service in this area," he added.
"We value the old neighborhoods in town, and we would like to keep those old neighborhoods intact, and we would hate to have the business districts encroach on those old neighborhoods,'' said Councilman Tim Bresnahan, who also sits on the planning and zoning commission.
"I'd like to see Ameritech stay. Where I draw the line, though, is when we start encroaching on our neighborhoods. I think we're primarily a bedroom community, and I'd like to see us stay that way, and I think the residents would too,'' said Councilman Kevin Hughes.
Skate park recommendation: City Manager Charles Tieche told council the parks, recreation and cemetery board had determined that there wasn't enough room to safely accommodate a skate park at Fair or Greasel parks and that the board suggested such a facility should be privately developed and operated. However, that board's findings aren't binding on council, he noted.
After the meeting, James A. Mullins, 32, of Boardman, a criminal justice student at Youngstown State University, was sworn in as a volunteer police officer by Mayor Lee Frey.