YOUNGSTOWN 2010 Proposal: more nonpolluting industry

The land-use plan also calls for more parks and open space.
YOUNGSTOWN -- The Youngstown 2010 land-use plan proposes to have more areas set aside for nonpolluting industry and proposes to keep large tracts of the East Side undeveloped.
William D'Avignon, deputy director of planning, unveiled the tentative remapping of city neighborhoods and businesses and industrial and recreational areas Monday at a meeting of the city planning commission and the zoning board of appeals.
D'Avignon said the map was devised after 2010 planners and staff attended neighborhood meetings over the last two years and after poring over information from the Mahoning County auditor's office.
The main thrust of the plan is to decrease the city's heavy industrial areas, which produce high levels of noise, vibration, dust and smoke pollution, and creating more new areas called "industrial green."
D'Avignon explained that industrial green areas are characterized by office uses, research, business support services, warehouses, distributors and light manufacturing uses that don't produce any noise levels, pollution or unsightly outdoor storage.
Some of the proposed industrial green areas would be along Wilson Avenue and off Hubbard Road on the East Side, the Salt Springs Industrial Park on the West Side, areas around and near the Juvenile Justice Center on the North Side, and areas near Pyatt, Wabash, Fountain and King streets on the South Side.
D'Avignon said areas off Interstate 680 and Market Street and Southern Boulevard also would be connected to the industrial green designation.
He said the 711 connector project that is nearing completion would open up certain West Side areas for light industrial uses.
Small business districts would be created along the main thoroughfares leading into the city: Mahoning Avenue, Market Street, South Avenue and Belmont Avenue.
The land-use plan also calls for more parks and open space to connect to Mill Creek Park and allow the open space boundaries, where possible, to extend to Glenwood Avenue and the former Idora Park amusement park.
The East Side would primarily remain undeveloped, with most of that side of town designated for single-, two- and three-family residential homes as well as recreation open space and agriculture use.
He explained the rationale for leaving the East Side undeveloped is that it would put a strain on current services, such as sewer and waterlines, to be brought there for development.
Angelo Pignatelli, planning commissioner, asked D'Avignon if city council and the commission had the power to rezone areas without the property owners' approval for the land-use plan.
The right language
D'Avignon said the city and the commission had such power and that the city can create new zoning regulations incorporating language that a potential housing or business project can be turned down if it doesn't meet the city's land-use plan.
Pignatelli said that's important for the commission to have that language because it will make it easier for those coming before the commission or the zoning appeals board to have it explained to them that their requests for variances had to be turned down because it doesn't conform to the land-use plan.
Other plan highlights include creation of a riparian zone to protect the Mahoning River from pollution; green and open space around the Youngstown Convocation Center; and a hike/bike trail from Fellows Riverside Gardens in Mill Creek Park to the former B & amp;O Station off Mahoning Avenue.
D'Avignon said the tentative plan will be revealed at the Youngstown 2010 session Jan. 27 at Stambaugh Auditorium.
Also, public hearings must be held and the final plan must be approved by the planning commission and city council.
D'Avignon told commissioners he would like them to make a recommendation to council by March or April.

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