Macedonia -- City Council members said they heard residents loud and clear regarding a proposed zoning change for a two-acre property that would have allowed the Macedonia Marketplace on Route 82 by Route 8 to expand.
The 5-0 vote against the rezoning from Business-Office to B-1 convenience business district, was met with applause from the audience Sept. 22 after several residents spoke out against the request during a second public hearing on the rezoning. Residents cited concerns regarding noise, trash, traffic and home values.
A phone call to The Osborne Capital Group seeking comment was not returned.
In making its rezoning request, Osborne Capital Group had submitted a plan that included two new buildings and a parking area meant to alleviate some of the congestion from the current traffic at the Marketplace where First Watch, MattressFirm, Vitamin Shoppe, Antonio's Pizza, an AT&T store and Sherwin Williams are located.
The two new buildings would have housed a possible dental office, hair salon, at least two fast casual restaurants and a possible drive-thru coffee shop.
Mayor Joe Migliorini said the property, consisting of seven lots, was zoned B-1 in the 1990s. The northwest corner is off Harmon Drive and the property's eastern boundary is Fairlane Drive. Migliorini said the property was rezoned to a Business Office district after the property was purchased some time in the 1990s.
Harman Drive resident Terry Repak said he believes that if the property was rezoned to a B-1 district anything could be built on the lots, not just the proposed retail and restaurants.
He gave the example of the proposed Marriott Townplace Suites, which received a similar use permit from the Planning Commission for the B-1 district off Girl Scout Way.
"The code says once that hotel use is allowed in another district, [the use] becomes automatic in all of that zoning for that use," Repak said.
Holly Guffin, a Fairlaine drive resident, said she and other neighbors have seen an increase in skunks and raccoons that residents believe are attracted to waste receptacles behind the existing businesses.
Michelle Repak said residents have no authority over the Planing Commission and Board of Zoning Appeals, as they are unable to vote them out of office, and asked Council to serve as a buffer.
"You are the people we elected to protect us, if you can't protect us then we have no hope as tax payers," she said "Any developer at any time can just ruin our neighborhood and we're stuck."
Another resident said traffic is an issue already for those trying to turn left from Fairlane Drive onto Route 82
Doug Houser, a Harmon Road resident, said he is in favor of development but would rather see an office building built on the property.
"People don't understand, we live there; we would love to have a three-story building there because we wouldn't have the sound from Lowe's, and all these other businesses," Houser said.
He added the hours of an office building are typically from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and not open on weekends.
During the vote by council, Councilor David Engle said business and tax revenue are important to the city, but added he doesn't feel the proposed rezoning would protect the citizens.
Council President Nick Molnar said his mind was made up in April.
"It's hard for me to think I would support a business over our residents. My mind was made up on 4-28; my answer is no," Molnar said.
Councilor Jan Tulley sealed the unanimous vote but cautioned residents that if a business office were to be built in the area, hours are not limited and some companies often work 24/7.
Briana Barker: 330-541-9432