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A Councilman's Big Plans for the 'Hodgepodge' on Pearl Road

Jim Carbone promised to help beautify Route 42, and he's already got the ball rolling

Less than two months into his term, Ward 3 Councilman Jim Carbone is making good on a campaign promise to try to beautify Pearl Road.

"When you talk to people about Pearl Road, the term you hear is 'hodgepodge,'" Carbone said.

His goal: To unify the jumble of storefronts into blocks of consistent architecture, landscaping, and brick and stone color.

Carbone has long had a problem with the unsystematic growth of businesses along Strongsville's older business district.

Obviously, he can't make existing retailers rebuild.

But he can take aim at sections that are still developing, like areas on the south end of the street and at the Whitney-Pearl intersection -- if, that is, the city hurries.

"At Whitney and Pearl, in the next five years, we could see a dozen new businesses," Carbone said. 

He and other city officials, including city planner Bob Hill and Jennifer Milbrandt, coordinator of natural resources, are putting together a plan that would break Pearl Road in districts. 

They will then determine an architectural style and brick color "to make everything flow in that district," Carbone said.

It would extend to landscaping and fixtures, too -- like a hedge row in front of parking lots, pine trees on the sides of buildings, black fencing and black lamp posts.

He hopes Strongsville will have an architectural plan for Pearl Road in place in time to affect Giant Eagle's proposed construction of a Market District store, which could start this year if a rezoning issue passes at the polls March 6.

"We could really make an impact there," Carbone said.

During his campaign, Carbone said if he was elected, he would look into making Pearl Road a better-looking thoroughfare.

"It's just in the beginning stages," he said. "But if we do this, it would look like we had a plan there and create some unity among the buildings."

Al February 27, 2012 at 03:31 PM
Great Idea!! I once renovated an old building spending my own money, only to find out that there were storefront improvement grants available through the county after the fact. Helping unknowing property owners with some funding will go a long way toward helping establish a more planned and uniform Strongsville.
carol merkle February 27, 2012 at 06:09 PM
Hedges around parking lots make them unsafe. People like to see cars at stores.
Michelle February 27, 2012 at 08:24 PM
Black fencing may create uniformity also, but it does make it more difficult to see the storefronts behind them. I am less likely to visit a store on impulse if I can't see it.
lyn February 28, 2012 at 12:46 PM
I agree - Great idea! We can have a retail corridor, yet beautify it! Less concrete to look at, more green - add mounds, trees,... It can be done.
Alison February 28, 2012 at 01:28 PM
Great Idea, let's clean up Pearl Road. It's going down hill fast, why not create something that is pleasant to look at. Keeping our city beautiful will only keep our property rates up. Why fault him for this ... it's a great idea!
lyn February 28, 2012 at 02:11 PM
RE: "Why fault him for this" That's what some people do - find fault with anything and everything. They complain how the city is starting to look, you have a solution, COMPLAIN. I cannot believe how many people hate the city they live in - maybe its the food they eat; eat healthy, be happy. (Please people, no need to find technical fault with that last statement - lame attempt at humor; get it? new grocery store? food!)
Robert Smith February 29, 2012 at 03:02 PM
I've been driving up and down Pearl Road for many years and many of my neighbors and I have the same complaint that it is just a hodge podge of buildings with no orginazation. We are finally excited that someone stepped up and has proposed change that will result in consistency so we don't head in same disorganized direction as Lorain Road in North Olmsted.
charles March 01, 2012 at 02:03 AM
Chuck Great Idea! Glad someone is finally stepping up to the plate and taking action!
tom m March 02, 2012 at 04:33 AM
I have a great idea lets tear down that old driving range and beat up old house next door to it and put a huge giant eagle in there

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