Streetsboro master plan review panel focuses on timeline, rules

by Bob Gaetjens | Editor Published:

Streetsboro -- The first Master Plan Review Committee meeting Jan. 30 at City Hall focused on establishing rules and a timetable.

Mayor Glenn Broska, a member of the committee, said he hopes the group has recommendations regarding the master plan for the Planning Commission by May 1.

Broska said the calendar he proposed was devised with an eye toward placing the proposed new zoning code (which is based on the master plan) on the ballot Nov. 5.

The committee will next meet Feb. 13 at City Hall to review committee members' "hot button" areas of concern within the plan.

Zoning Inspector Stacey Vadaj said the committee working on the zoning code would have to work in parallel with the Master Plan Review Committee, updating the zoning code as proposed changes to the master plan are decided on.

"If you folks have a lot of changes you want to make, then obviously [the zoning code] isn't going on the ballot in November," she told the Master Plan Review Committee members.

Broska said he doesn't believe "monumental changes" to the master plan are needed, and it should not be difficult for the Zoning Code Committee to keep up with proposed changes during the process.

"We are in the process now of starting to interview new planning and zoning [director] candidates," he said. "It is my hope and my goal to have a candidate ready to be presented to Council by the first meeting in February."

The Master Plan Committee spent more than an hour and a quarter discussing the rules under which it will operate.

Committee member John Albaneze proposed the committee adopt the rules which the Charter Review Commission used last year. He read the rules over for the committee, which discussed possible changes that could be made.

The rules the committee agreed upon include allowing individuals 2 minutes to speak on each proposed revision to the master plan during the course of the meeting.

At the end of the meeting, there will be a citizens' comments period during which each citizen is permitted to speak 3 minutes.

According to Assistant Law Director Matt Vazzana, the committee will need to ratify decisions made at the Jan. 30 meeting at its Feb. 13 meeting because members weren't sworn into office until the end of the Jan. 30 meeting.

Possible changes

After the rules were set and Jerome Pavlick was elected chair and Joe Wolfe was elected vice chair of the committee, Portage County Regional Planning Commission Director Todd Peetz gave the committee an overview of the changes he and former Planning Director Jeff Pritchard have discussed.

Peetz said one big change will be replacing demographic information taken from the 2000 Census with information from the 2010 Census.

One part of the plan Peetz said is not covered in his contract with the city is updating the transportation section of the plan because the existing plans had been developed with assistance from the Akron Metropolitan Area Transportation Study.

Albaneze told him the committee would consider that area on its own.

"I was [brought] on to look at the whole document and not exclude anything," he said. "We're looking at it from page 0 to the back cover."

Peetz also said maps in the plan would be updated to include data from Portage County's GIS data service, which would enable the city to map more features with greater accuracy.

Claudia James, the county's GIS coordinator, would work on that part of the plan.

Riparian corridors of protected areas near streams are one example of an item which will be mapped more precisely with the updated plan.

"Those are done using GIS," she said, adding that a 25-foot setback from a stream is "25 feet from the center of the stream; it's not a guess."

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