Intimate apparel shop rules proposed

Published: Wed, February 19, 2014 @ 12:00 a.m.

By Peter H. Milliken


The Austintown Township Zoning Commission will have a public hearing Thursday on a proposal to regulate intimate-apparel shops and donation drop-off boxes.

The hearing will be at 6 p.m. in the township hall, 82 Ohltown Road.

The proposal was approved Tuesday by the Mahoning County Planning Commission after it was presented to the commission by Darren L. Crivelli, township zoning inspector.

The proposal would require an intimate-apparel shop to get a conditional-use permit from the township board of zoning appeals to be located in a business B-2 zoning district.

An intimate-apparel shop is defined as a retail store specializing in the sale of intimate apparel, including sexually explicit merchandise and adult toys and novelty items “designed to appeal to erotic or sexual appetites.”

Crivelli said he has received several inquiries about rules for locating such businesses in the township, but he does not believe the township now has any.

He added, however, that he wants to create an environment, in which a mother and young child entering such a store “wouldn’t be embarrassed.”

The zoning appeals board could ask such shops to have a “back room” for the more “exotic” or “adult” merchandise or a minimum age for customers, he suggested. “It’ll give the board of appeals some flexibility,” Crivelli said of the permit proposal.

Under the proposal, donation boxes would require authorization from the owner of the land where they’re located and a zoning permit, and the landowner would be responsible for ensuring that they remain litter-free.

“You see them up and down Mahoning Avenue and on [state] Route 46. Our trustees are receiving a lot of complaints. These things are just placed haphazardly,” Crivelli told the planning commission. “It seems like sometimes these become dump sites.”

The boxes would have to be set back at least 60 feet from the road and could not be in fire lanes, drive aisles or loading zones. They also would not be allowed to obstruct pedestrian or vehicular traffic.

The planning commission also approved a proposal from Boardman to rezone 202 lots in an area bounded by the Youngstown city limits, Southern Boulevard, Erie Street and Grover and Clifton drives from R-2, which would allow up to six-plexes, to R-1, single-family residential.

Sarah Gartland, Boardman Township zoning inspector, said the goal of the change would be to maintain the neighborhood’s single-family residential character. The township is in the process of making this zoning change on more than 1,000 of its lots.

The Austintown and Boardman proposals are subject to final approval by their respective township trustees.

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