Plans for controversial complex still delayed

Daniel+Gordon+and+John+Zanfardino+smile+as+citizens+speak+during+a+city+council+hearing+Tuesday+at+6+p.m.

Daniel Gordon and John Zanfardino smile as citizens speak during a city council hearing Tuesday at 6 p.m.

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Residents now know that a CVS Pharmacy will be constructed at the corner of East Wooster and South Prospect Streets, but the fate of the corner across the street from it still rests with the future votes of city council members.

While city council unanimously approved the construction of a CVS. The council still needs to vote on the construction of a complex at the corner of East Wooster and North Prospect Streets. The complex, which would house businesses on its bottom floor and efficiency apartments on its second floor, will likely be voted on at city council’s Feb. 4 meeting.

Despite the continued delay, city council also approved a B-5 rezoning ordinance Tuesday, something that would facilitate the construction of the complex if it is approved at the council’s next meeting.

“This was a big hurdle tonight and took quite a while, but I think all of us grew through the process of it,” said Mayor Richard Edwards.

The process Edwards is alluding to is one of multiple hearings, meetings and rezoning proposals that started back in October 2011.

Proposed in previous meetings, the B-3 zoning at the site would have allowed for a complex to be built that would only prohibit ground floor apartments while the B-5 zoning ordinance will allow for a complex to be built that would also allow for apartments on the second floor but would also prevent the complex from being built taller than two stories, according to a record of ordinances from the city. The B-5 zoning will also prohibit the complex from containing gas stations, car sales and service centers, tattoo parlors and bars and taverns, according to the ordinances.

East side residents have spoken out, asking the city to slow its movement on the complex’s rezoning proposal so that concerns of residents could be considered.

Although the vote on the construction of the complex is still two weeks away, residents like Neocles Leontis were happy to see everything starting to come together at Tuesday’s meeting.

“I’d like to thank everybody on the council and the planning commission for all their hard work on this,” Leontis said during Tuesday’s meeting. “This is really much improved over what we first had.”

One of the council members Leontis specifically thanked during the meeting was Daniel Gordon, who represents some of the area that could be affected by the complex’s construction.

“We’ve come up with a new zoning category tonight that will better protect our citizens in cases like this,” Gordon said. “This is definitely a win for the citizens.”

As for the council’s next meeting concerning the complex, Gordon hopes it will be similar to Tuesday night’s meeting.

“I’m glad that this meeting was civil,” he said. “Hopefully the next one will be too.”