A month after voters cleared the way for to on the property on Pearl Road, here is an update on the project:
1. Rezoning -- City Council on Monday officially rezoned most of the property to a business classification. Officials here had been waiting for clearance from the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections, which had not certified the results of the March 6 election, when Strongsville voters agreed to rezone part of the land from residential to business.
However, a small section of land -- one just north of St. John Neumann Church -- was overlooked in the legislation and is being rezoned by council in a separate ordinance. It was not zoned residential and does not require a vote of the people.
2. Plans -- Giant Eagle has not yet submitted plans to the city for its new store. Ward 2 Councilman Matt Schonhut said he doesn't expect them to be turned in for another five or six weeks.
3. Businesses on the site -- In the meantime, opened for the season on April 1, and Strongsville Golf continues to operate. Honey Hut has already announced it will open a new ice cream shop on Pearl Road in Brunswick and may not seek another location in Strongsville. There is no official word yet on whether the businesses will have to cut their summer 2012 season short.
4. Residents still concerned -- Some Mallard Creek residents sought assurance from city officials Monday that they will have input into the plans once they're submitted. Gary Yacobian told council the initial layout of the grocery store was "unacceptable," with truck docks and trash compactors located on the border of the property, too near their homes.
His wife, Joann, said crews have already been digging for core samples on the property at various times -- including at 9 a.m. on a Sunday.
"That was a red flag for us," she said. "What are we in for next?"
Mayor Tom Perciak said the residents will be welcome to look at the plans and attend Planning Commission meetings.
"Their questions are justifiable," Perciak said. "I understand and respect their position."
But he said that "unfortunately for them, the people of Strongsville have spoken" by rezoning the land and allowing the store to be built.
5. Construction this summer? -- When Giant Eagle announced its plans, it set an ambitious timetable that had construction starting this summer and wrapping up in less than a year. The company has not updated its timetable in recent weeks.