Let’s talk about Phase 2 and other Hudson issues Monday night at Barlow

Ward 3 Community Forum

Monday, August 28, 2017

7:00 – 8:30 PM – Barlow Community Center, 41 S. Oviatt St.

Let’s talk about Phase 2 Plans, EMS funding, the proposed development on Stow Road, medical marijuana in Hudson, broadband, whatever’s on your mind. You set the agenda! Should medical marijuana facilities be permitted in Hudson?  Its one of the topics we may discuss at the next Ward 3 Forum. 

Please join me for the summer townhall-style community meeting.  Come anytime, stay as late as you like. Though I’ll be sharing some news on developments in Ward 3, all residents are welcome to attend and discuss any issues relating to Hudson.

I’m available to update you on some topics in the news –  broadband, road repairs, park improvements, road projects.

Look forward to seeing you there!

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Ward 3 Rezoning Request withdrawn, PC votes against Medical Marijuana, Ward 3 Forum Aug 28

Quick takes on a few issues, A Ward Forum Reminder and I am running for Council again.

Planning Commission is the first stop for consideration of land use issues, and PC this week deferred one issue and advanced another.  The property owner requesting a change in zoning for the property on Stow Road at the Turnpike withdrew that request before the Planning Commission meeting on Monday. The request was to change the zoning district and the definition of “density” to allow for multi-family units to be built there.  The issue is dead unless the owner or developer files another request, which would restart the PC/Hearing/Council process.

The other issue before Planning Commission was to render an opinion on whether to allow medical marijuana grow facilities or dispensaries in Hudson. The Commission voted 5-1 to recommend to City Council to not allow these facilities. Council is free to vote for or against after a public hearing and meeting next fall.  A “no” vote does not prohibit Hudson doctors from prescribing nor patients from using medical marijuana. It only limits where it can be grown or sold.  The applications are already in for growers. The state announced Summit County will have a total of three dispensaries. Logically, at least one would be in Akron, probably another south, and one north in our area.  Either way, dispensaries would not be as prevalent as a CVS, patients would be expected to travel a few miles.

I’m hosting another Ward 3 Forum on Monday Aug. 28 at 7 PM at Barlow Community Center. If you are blogsite reader, please consider this a special invitation to come out and say hi. We can discuss Ward 3 issues, or city issues, the audience decides the agenda. We can discuss downtown Phase 2 or anything else. Lots of give and take.

You may have read I am running for Council at Large this fall. I am proud to serve Ward 3, and will continue to work for you regardless of the election.  I’m running because I believe new voices on Council are needed. Clearly what we have now is not working for some in Hudson. If voters agree, if they like my approach and elect me to Council at Large, a new person would be appointed to fill the two years left on my Ward 3 term.  I would represent residents throughout Hudson for four more years.

Why you’ve not heard much from City Council on Phase Two, EMS ballot and proposed housing on Stow Road

City Council learned of revised plans for Phase Two from Testa Companies, the City’s proposed development partner,  at the August 1 Council meeting.  The new plans were based on input from Open Houses and group meetings.  Afterwards,  severalDocument (1) residents shared their questions and concerns.   Many commented that the plans presented by Testa development firm did not “fit Hudson,” that we were making a traffic problem downtown worse with more development, and that we were “moving too fast” with plans.

Since height and density were common issues, I asked that we see a comparison of the new plans with existing city blocks and neighborhoods. Density in particular is a concept that often has negative connotations, not just in Hudson. Here’s a good description of the concept.

It may seem that we are moving fast, but from my perspective, the more detail we can see in proposals, the better feel we will have about Testa. Keep in mind that we have no agreement with Testa, all this can be see an “audition” for actually hiring them once we know whether what they propose fits our collective vision and our cost parameters. As I said in the meeting, this is “our” (Hudson’s) project — not one being laid out on private property.

Council may decide it wants to go in a different direction. It’s not unheard of –the City of Cleveland Heights just parted company with Fairmount Properties when they couldn’t agree on the vision for a mixed-use development like ours land that has been vacant for decades. Fairmount may be familiar to Hudson readers – they are responsible for First & Main and were a bidder on Phase Two.

So there’s much to discuss yet. I have concerns, as do other Council members. With more details on construction and financing we will get closer to a finished project.

The public sessions on Phase Two are over, but if you would still like to comment and question plans, you are invited to my next Ward Three Forum, 7 PM Monday Aug 28 at Barlow Community Center.  We normally focus on Ward 3 issues, but I will make time once Ward questions are asked to have a Q&A about Phase Two. Full disclosure – I was not a leading proponent of the priority for Phase Two or need for housing.  Since a majority of Council voted to go forward and we have invested in the process, I am committed to make it a success.

We may also discuss the proposed housing on Stow Road at the Turnpike and future funding for EMS if the audience that night wants to know more. For a summary of where we are presently, see my link to Notes from the Recent Council meeting.