The board approved variances for the MVR and the new East High School.
By ROGER G. SMITH
CITY HALL REPORTER
YOUNGSTOWN -- City planning board members want to see what the proposed civic center project will involve before they act.
The board tabled an item Tuesday to rezone two spots. One is the project site between the Market Street and South Avenue bridges. The other is land between Front Street and the site.
Board members said the request was premature.
They first want to see and hear what developers are proposing for each spot before recommending any zoning changes. The planning board usually hears proposals before making zone change recommendations.
Planning board recommendations go to city council, which makes the final decision on rezoning.
Who sought change
The developer that the city is negotiating with to build an arena, hotel and conference center asked for the zoning change, said city Law Director John McNally IV. The city doesn't even own the project site yet. Minor details remain before the land deal closes.
The city asked that the site be rezoned from industrial to general business.
Technically a rezone isn't needed. Downtown's federal designation as a renewal community means the city zoning board can simply grant a use variance for the proposed project.
The city, through the developer, also asked that privately owned land between Front Street and the site be rezoned from central business to general business. That drew protests from several Front Street landowners, including a planning board member, architect Ray Jaminet.
Jaminet, who spoke about the item but abstained from voting, said a zone change isn't necessary. Representatives from Timlin Properties and the Atway & amp; Cochran law office echoed Jaminet's view.
The proposed change would hurt the value of his office building, Jaminet said. He also made clear he isn't interested in selling.
Also on agenda
The board, acting in its double role as the city zoning appeals board, also handled these items Tuesday:
UApproved variances to reduce the required front setback from 50 feet to zero feet and to waive the requirement that 50 percent of required parking be on the same lot for the MVR. The long-time restaurant on Walnut Street is expanding its dining room and parking lots.
UApproved variances to reduce the required front yard setback from 100 feet to 40 feet and allow parking within the setback for the new East High School on Parker Street.