Zoning for East End property discussed

EAST LIVERPOOL – No one spoke against a proposal to change the zoning classification for property at 1331 Pennsylvania Ave. during a public hearing Monday night, but City Council could not take action on the request due to lack of sufficient members in attendance.

The property owners had requested changing the zoning classification from B-5, Central Business, to M-3, General Industry, to precipitate the possible sale and development of the land by a trucking company.

Joe Ludovici, representing the land owners, told council members the former site of Tad Motors has been vacant since 1993 and there is now a contract in place with Harnett Trucking, but the company will not purchase the land if the zoning change is not approved.

If the sale goes through, the company intends to pave the lot, put up a new building and hire between four and 10 new employees, Ludovici said. The company already operates in another portion of the city and wants to relocate.

“We’re hoping they’ll follow through,” Ludovici said.

Mayor Jim Swoger said he has spoken with the company manager and was invited to visit their Ashtabula facility, where the same type building and landscaping is being used, saying, “It seems encouraging.”

Fire Chief Bill Jones said he also did some research on the company and found it is involved in the fracking industry and hauls bulk liquid and dry bulk but “not that many hazardous materials.”

He said the Ashtabula site is a secure one and said he would like to see the paved lot that Ludovici said is being planned, since any leakage would be easier to clean up.

If hazardous materials are hauled, the site must be secured, Jones emphasized.

In looking at the Ashtabula site on Google Earth, Jones said, it appears the company looks like a shop where employees work on trucks, not where materials are transferred from one trailer to another.

The city Planning Commission had recommended the zoning change to council.

Council held a special meeting after the hearing at which it expected to consider legislation concerning the zoning change, but with members Tom Cunningham, Ray Perorazio and Ryan Stovall absent, there were not sufficient votes to give the legislation the seven-day waiver it required to be brought up for consideration.

Council will consider it at the August 4 meeting.