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City Business News - March / April, 2014

Retail Activity - Leasing activity has been brisk at Solon Square Shopping Center with 36,900 square feet leased to the following stores that recently opened or will be opening soon:  Title Boxing Club, Stitch With Us, Sunny's Indian Food & Spices, Champs Sports, White Flower Cupcake Shoppe, Advance Auto Parts, Upscale it, and Jimmy John's Gourmet Sandwiches.  The retail vacancy rate throughout the city's commercial districts stood at 5.3% in February, compared to 8.8% at the end of 2012.

Nestlé USA announced plans to relocate the Nestlé Pizza Division to Solon from Northbrook, Illinois, bringing 250 management level positions to Solon.  The move will be completed by mid-2014.  The relocated Pizza Division will benefit from close proximity to expanding R&D facilities at the Nestlé Product Technology Center (PTC) currently under construction.  The PTC will be operational in early 2015.

Broadband Access - An alternate solution for broadband Internet access will be available to the Solon business community in April.  Easton Telecom can provide business class wireless access virtually anywhere in the City, as a primary or secondary source, using the same technology and network that serves Ohio public safety forces.  For more information, contact Easton account representative Bob Glassman of Commtrol at 216-245-1500.

Proposed Zoning Code Amendment – Planning & Development Director Rob Frankland presented a proposed ordinance for the comprehensive update and revision of uses permitted within the city, the first such update in approximately 70 years.  The proposed amendment focuses on three main goals: 1) Evaluate all existing uses and remove and/or clarify any that are problematic; 2) Establish a standardized format for the listing of permitted, accessory and prohibited uses throughout the Zoning Code;  3)  Add use categories that are typically included in a modern zoning ordinance.  This item will undergo study by Council, the Planning Commission and the public, with the likely placement of the issue on the November, 2014 ballot. While this ordinance undergoes study, a one year moratorium has been placed on variances, site plan approvals, and issuance of permits relating to the prohibited uses listed within the proposed ordinance.  The Planning Commission will hold ongoing public hearings at their upcoming meetings.

Proposed Temporary Event Ordinance – Council is considering an ordinance to accommodate requests for temporary, short term events such as sidewalk sales, arts and crafts shows, musical entertainment and general promotional activities, typically received from commercial and industrial businesses.  The code does not currently provide an approval method for these types of events that can serve an important economic development function and improve the general qualify of life.  The proposed ordinance recommends an application and review process for a temporary event permit that can be approved by the Mayor or her designee, subject to review by the safety forces and relevant staff. This item was referred by Council to the Planning Commission for review.

Traffic Control Updates

Council approved the following items: 1) Removal of the restriction prohibiting a left turn on SOM Center northbound at Linden Drive,  2) Authorized the City Engineer to restripe pavement markings to provide a northbound left turn lane on SOM Center at Linden Drive with an updated traffic signal to provide a left turn arrow,  3) Authorized the City Engineer to proceed with plans to provide for two-way center left turn lanes on SOM Center Road between Linden Drive and Park East Drive.  

The Engineering Department was authorized to request a proposal for an additional traffic study of Aurora Road from SOM Center to the City’s east corporation line.

Traffic Signalization Project - In mid-October, the City's traffic signal contractor, Perram Electric, began drilling pole foundations and boring cables under roads  at various intersections throughout the city.   All 43 traffic signals within the City will be replaced and/or upgraded during the 2 year project. Upon completion, all signals will be accessible through a central computer system located at City Hall. The system will include the latest in traffic technology including video detection and fiber optic communications. 80% of the $4.2 million project cost is covered by a grant from the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency.  There will be temporary lane closures at the various intersections during construction. 

Aurora / SOM Intersection Improvements – Right-of-way acquisition is underway in anticipation of construction in 2016.  Improvements will include the addition of a lane on the east side of SOM Center Road and widening of Aurora Road east of SOM to add a northbound turning lane onto SOM.   Ultimately, there will be two westbound through lanes on Aurora and two left turn lanes both northbound and southbound on SOM.  ODOT will pay 90% of the project cost, with the City to pay the remaining 10%. 

City of Solon Ohio City of Solon, Ohio
34200 Bainbridge Rd.
Solon, OH 44139
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