Market District Zoning Battle Heats Up
One side pushes jobs and new business, the other fights noise and traffic
Both sides of the Market District zoning issue are spending this week trying to get their message out to voters as Election Day nears.
Homemade signs urging a "No" vote on Issue 4 have begun appearing around town as some residents -- in particular, those who live near the project site -- seek to keep Giant Eagle from building a 110,000-square-foot Market District store on Pearl Road.
Proponents of the project are mailing out literature and making phone calls to convince voters to approve a rezoning that will clear the way for the project.
"The majority of the feedback we're getting is positive," said Nick Catanzarite, attorney representing the property owners.
Issue 4 seeks to rezone a 5-acre parcel on the property currently used by Strongsville Golf and Honey Hut from residential to business so Giant Eagle can use it -- and the adjacent 14 acres -- to build an upscale Market District supermarket.
Residents on Raccoon Trail, Fawn Circle and other adjacent streets are opposing the plan, saying the store will generate noise and more traffic on Pearl Road.
"Do you really and truly believe that your quality of life is better because of all the commercial development that has occurred in Strongsville over the last 20 years?" resident L.B. Smith wrote in a letter to Strongsville Patch.
Giant Eagle officials say they want to close the smaller, traffic-plagued store at Westfield SouthPark and replace it with what they call a unique shopping experience in the upscale Market District.
Their campaign focuses on two things:
• Jobs. "It's not only the 150 or more jobs in the Market District store, it's also the jobs that will be created when a new store moves into the old Giant Eagle (at Westfield SouthPark)," Catanzarite said. "And there will be more jobs when Market District helps the south part of Pearl develop."
• If not Market District, someone else will build there. "Something is going to go there," Catanzarite said. "The (Strongsville Golf) owners are ready to sell. This land is going to be developed. There's going to be more traffic on Pearl Road."
Giant Eagle officials have promised to erect a mounded, landscaped barrier that will shield residents from seeing the store and muffle the noise.
In Strongsville, any rezoning from residential to another use must be approved by voters both citywide and in the ward where the property lies -- in this case, Ward 2.