Mayor calls for moratorium in special planning district

by Dan Holland

May 23 city council work session

A rather uneventful Broadview Heights City Council work session was capped off with the reading of a statement from Mayor Sam Alai calling on council members to impose a moratorium on future commercial development in the special planning district located at Broadview and Royalton roads, also known as City Center.

The request coincides with the city purchasing a vacant 3.1-acre lot at 9318 Broadview Rd., where Piedmont Companies proposed building a 12,600 square-foot Goodwill Industries store. The parcel was owned by Petros, SAM & DAV Properties II.

A number of council members had expressed strong opposition to the location of the proposed business during a Feb. 7 Growth, Planning & Zoning Committee meeting.

“The city has been in opposition to the proposed Goodwill store and collection center in our downtown special planning district,” Alai read from the statement. “We attempted to purchase the property with Petros Development several months ago, but we could not reach a deal, so they moved along with the project.”

The letter continued to describe how the city was able to successfully negotiate a deal with the assistance of Council President Robert Boldt for the purchase of the lot to halt to any further plans for the Goodwill store. An adjacent 3-acre parcel owned by the city, which has frontage along West Royalton Road, adjoins the Broadview Road lot at its rear.

“We have had plans to re-examine the special planning district and further safeguard for more reasonable, responsible, and respectful development of our downtown area,” Alai continued. “I have discussed this with the council president, and he agrees to put a moratorium on development in the SPD until we update the ordinance to better serve the community, and I would further ask for council’s support in this endeavor.”

Boldt said that after seeing how downtown has progressed, he doesn’t believe the proposal is to the community’s liking.

“So, at this point, I think we should just freeze everything and reevaluate where we’re at,” he said. “We need to take a look at the areas that are still viable – even the properties that we purchased – and set ourselves up for the best kind of development that remains, and shut the door on some of the businesses that we don’t want in our downtown area. That’s the main purpose for this.” ∞