By Kevin Kelley
Voters will see five rezoning measures on the Nov. 4 ballot after City Council passed legislation placing the issues on the ballot at its June 16 meeting.
The residential properties – four on West 210th Street and one on Glenbar Drive – will be rezoned from the residential category to the general business category if the measures pass. Rezoning in Fairview Park must be approved by voters and by a majority of voters in the ward of the proposed rezoning, which in this case is Ward 2.
The properties in question are either owned or controlled by George Kallas, the owner of Minerva Family Restaurant on Center Ridge Road. His intent is to combine the parcels so one or two new retail buildings can be built on the consolidated property.
Kallas has been working with Dan Hopkins, owner of DJH Developers, on the project. Hopkins has said the proposal fits well with the city’s 2012 master plan update, which emphasized the major gateways to Fairview Park. Hopkins has said no tenants are yet lined up for the property.
But at a May 2 planning and design commission meeting and a June 2 public hearing, several nearby residents expressed concerns about the plan. Their main fear is that heavy traffic in the area, which is just west of Westgate shopping center, will only get worse.
Although some residents repeated that concern at council’s June 16 meeting, members unanimously approved legislation placing the rezoning measures on the Nov. 4 ballot. The vote was 5-0, as members Brian McDonough and Peggy Cleary were absent.
Ward 2 Councilman Bill Minek met with the concerned residents after the June 16 meeting, even going to their homes to further discuss their fears.
Minek said city officials hope to lengthen the left-hand turning lane on West 210th Street for cars heading westbound on Center Ridge Road. Left-hand turning lanes for those heading southbound on West 210th Street leading to the Westgate shopping center will also be lengthened, Minek said. The councilman said the hope is that these changes will reduce traffic congestion along West 210th Street.