STOW: City Council continued reviewing a text amendment request made by auto dealer Ron Marhofer to permit auto sales and/or rental as a conditional use in C-3 Community Retail District.
Residents Allyson C. Burley and her husband purchased their Thorndale Avenue home in April and were informed about Marhofer's proposal after they moved in.
The dealership, located near the intersection of state Routes 91 and 59, is seeking the city's permission to raze several homes on Thorndale Avenue to expand and create additional parking for Ron Marhofer Chevrolet.
Michael Gordon, an attorney representing Burleys, addressed council on Thursday night.
Gordon said that he objected to the first reading of the proposal and asked council before they start the process of deliberating on the text amendments to have their law director do an analysis of the non-conforming use of the code section.
“This needs a comprehensive legal review," Gordon said.
No action was taken as it requires three readings and a public hearing before a vote can be taken on the issue. The city's zoning code does not permit the expansion without special approval by council.
The public hearing for this item is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. on Jan. 7.
John Slagter, Marhofer’s attorney, was not present at Thursday's council meeting.
"What we are asking for tonight is not the rezoning of any residential property,” Slagter said during Monday's Planning Committee meeting. “What we are asking for is very simply the rezoning of your text amendment to recognize that these existing uses have been appropriate in this area as they currently exist and ultimately in the other areas in your community.”
Slagter said that severe restrictions are a real risk for any business owner.
“It’s the code itself saying we don’t want you to survive,” Slagter said Monday.