A city councilman's proposal to beautify Pearl Road by adding fencing, trees and landscaping is officially at a standstill, but it is unofficially taking shape.
Sheiban Jewelers has quietly installed black wrought-iron fencing in front of its buildings to show support for the plan.
"We want Strongsville to be beautiful," owner Tony Sheiban said. "I thought it was a great idea. I've received so many compliments -- people come in and say, 'what a beautiful fence.'"
Ward 3 Councilman Jim Carbone, who with Ward 2 Councilman Matt Schonhut last year proposed all new businesses on Pearl Road be required to conform to certain uniform streetscape standards, said he has spoken with a number of Pearl Road business owners about the idea.
"I went to a lot of businesses for input," Carbone said. "Right off the bat, Mr. Sheiban thought it was a great idea. He believed in it, and he did it."
The measure sought to eliminate what Carbone calls a "hodge podge" look on Pearl Road by requiring new businesses to use certain brick and stone colors, and to add hedge rows, plant certain trees and put up coordinated fencing.
But city officials quashed the plan last June, saying the requirements might be off-putting to potential new businesses, and that those being built on Pearl already are required to have attractive facades.
Sheiban, who owns several Pearl Road buildings as well as a second Sheiban Jewelers store at SouthPark Mall, said he plans this spring to add landscaping around the fence.
"I want it to look like a park," he said.
His son, Jason, agreed.
"We've definitely got to dress up Strongsville a little bit," he said. "What Jim (Carbone) was saying made a lot of sense, and we listened."
Carbone said Giant Eagle plans to put similar fencing in front of its new Market District store that is under construction on Pearl Road, and he hopes other new businesses -- like the new retail planned for the corner of Pearl and Whitney -- as well as some existing companies will voluntarily try to match the look.
"I've been talking to other businesses, and they might be doing something in the future," he said.