Business zone boost debated
Most of those attending opposed the business zone expansion.
& lt;a href=mailto:email@example.com & gt;By PETER MILLIKEN & lt;/a & gt;
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
CANFIELD -- Township officials are weighing business interests against residential interests as they decide whether they should expand the business zone along U.S. Route 224.
"We don't want to be changed to commercial. I think it's a very harsh thing to do to make 1,000 feet commercial," said Susan Greco of South Raccoon Road.
"We're not buffered by anything. I don't want to wake up and have Wal-Mart at my side yard," Greco said, adding that there is vacant office space along Route 224 near Tippecanoe Road.
Greco was among about 50 people, most of them opposed to the business zone expansion, who attended a township zoning commission workshop Thursday concerning a proposal to expand the business district from 500 to 1,000 feet back from the road along both sides of Route 224 between Raccoon Road and the Ohio Turnpike.
The land within 500 feet of Route 224 has been zoned for business for about 30 years, but most of the land between 500 and 1,000 feet away from the road is still zoned residential and agricultural.
The zoning commission did not set a specific date when it would again discuss the matter, but Dave Morrison, zoning inspector, thought it would be about a month from now, with the commission likely to vote on the zone change in about three or four months.
Mahoning County Planning Commission recommended the zone change after it received several requests from developers to extend business zoning to 1,000 feet. That commission recommends that the township keep commercial development along Route 224, said Michael O'Shaughnessy, planning commission director.
Daniel Bienko of Jamison Place noted that Boardman Plaza occupies only 500 feet back from Route 224. "If they can do it, the developers here should be able to do it," he told the zoning commission.
But Paul Sherba of Mellinger Road, who said he owns property on Route 224, said considerable land in the Route 224 corridor is already occupied by business. He urged rezoning most of the 1,000-foot strip for business, saying it would improve Canfield Township's tax base.
Unlike residential development, commercial development doesn't burden the schools with more students, he added.
Jeff Moliterno, zoning commission chairman, said the commission is trying to "balance the needs of the commercial as well as residential uses for the township. Businesses do bring in tax dollars for the township.''
"The idea of this is to have responsible development and have it uniform. We would like to contain business" between Raccoon Road and the turnpike along Route 224 "so it doesn't sprawl and spider all over our township," Morrison said.
Jim Graneto of Leffingwell Road said the matter should go before township voters. As township officials consider expanding the business zone, they also need to address the placement of access roads to avoid traffic jams, such as those that occur in Boardman and Poland, he added.