AUSTINTOWN Board mulls zone permit for church

The 54-member church is occupying rented quarters in Boardman.
AUSTINTOWN -- The board of zoning appeals will reconvene at 7 p.m. May 2 to consider a conditional-use permit that would allow a church to be built on about two acres at the southeast corner of West Radio Road and state Route 46.
Nearby residents expressed concerns Thursday about increased noise and traffic, possible traffic delays impeding emergency vehicle access, stormwater drainage problems and glare from lighting to be installed at the church. The proposed site for the church is zoned residential.
The Rev. Donald G. Pandone of Hubbard, church trustee chairman and a minister for The Church of Jesus Christ, said the 54-member church hopes to erect a 3,200-square-foot, 150-seat, single-story building on the land, which is vacant. He said plans call for church access to be from Radio Road, not state Route 46.
Resident's view
"We have enough problems already because they [motorists] use Radio Road as a shortcut to Norquest Boulevard or Mahoning Avenue. So we have a problem with a lot of speeders," said Margaret Steiner of Radio Road.
"We're not speeders. We are very aware of neighborhoods and of the children in the neighborhoods," the Rev. Mr. Pandone said, adding that extra lighting enhances neighborhood security.
Mr. Pandone said the church has sold the building it occupied on Gibson Street in Youngstown and is worshipping in temporary rented quarters on Stadium Drive in Boardman. He said the church likes the Austintown site because it is affordable and centrally located with convenient highway access.
The board terminated public testimony Thursday and decided to further study the matter and consider it again in two weeks.

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