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Stow City Council to address Marhofer, Redmon and gas well proposals at public hearing Monday

By Heather Beyer
Ohio.com correspondent

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Stow residents swarm City Hall to address council on the proposed Redmon Funeral Home legislation. (Heather Beyer/Ohio.com)

Many expect Stow City Hall to be jam packed Monday evening as council reviews several controversial pieces of legislation.

Council has scheduled a public hearing beginning at 5:30 p.m. to address several items that have sparked much debate and could affect Stow residents.

Marhofer rezoning request

Currently, one piece of controversial legislation that has continued into 2013 is a rezoning request made by auto dealer Ron Marhofer. 

Marhofer wants to redevelop the area around his business at Darrow and Kent roads. Among the key components of the proposal are eliminating Yukon Road, which bisects the dealership property, and improving the intersection at Thorndale Avenue and Darrow Road so it would be a normal 90 degrees.

The project also would involve demolishing some existing homes on Thorndale.

In order to expand the dealership, council must agree to rezone the area that is currently residential. 

Over the summer, Marhofer chose to table the issue to negotiate with Thorndale Avenue residents. The parties were unable to come to an agreement, and the issue is back in legislation.

Redmon seeks cremation equipment approval

Another controversial piece of legislation expected to be addressed Monday evening is a request made by Redmon Funeral Home 

Currently, council is reviewing a request made by the Redmon family to use cremation equipment in their funeral home. This item was tabled at the last council meeting on Dec. 13.

Owner Keith Redmon said the family wants to offer customers the service of cremation at their establishment, but must get the council’s permission before doing so. At this time, families seeking cremation services have to look outside of the community.

If approved, Redmon Funeral Home would be the only funeral home in Stow able to provide cremation services.

Residents that live near the funeral home have voiced opposition to the legislation. 

Natural gas well at the Church of New Hope

Council is also expected to review another item tonight that has many residents concerned.

It was reported in November, Pursie E. Pipes Drilling Co. activated a natural gas well at the Church of New Hope.

The company confirmed that the well at 4415 Darrow Road, which has been horizontally fractured, was completed in November and now is ready to collect gas.

The recent development has many residents concerned. 

In August, council made a unanimous decision to withdraw a proposal to drill a gas well on the Church of New Hope’s property from legislation. Council was reviewing the proposed lease for the natural gas well, which had already been drilled. 

If council had approved the proposed item, the city would have received $20,000 plus a 12.5 percent royalty on any gas-oil that comes from the well on the church’s property.

Stow residents remain concerned about the gas well on the church’s property and have asked the city to issue an injunction against the driller. 

According to Stow Law Director Brian Reali, the title opinion indicates that the property owners on Ritchie Road have property rights to the center of the road. The city owns the street, in trust, for the public use.  

"The city therefore, does not have a property interest. All regulation regarding drilling falls completely under State law.  It is unfortunate that municipalities like Stow have no say as to where a gas well is drilled," Reali said.