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Resident asks council about non-conforming property

Duplex since '80s zoned improperly

March 29, 2012
By J.T. Whitehouse , Town Crier

Canfield resident Mark Eddy addressed City Council on Wednesday, March 21 concerning a neighboring property he believes is in violation of zoning. A property at 24 East Main St. has been a multi-family dwelling since the early 1980s.

"In 1982, the new owners of the property put up a wall and created a duplex," Eddy said. "Who said they could change it to a non-conforming use?"

Eddy, who lives at 22 East Main St., said he spoke with people in the neighborhood who lived there in the 1970s and claimed he was told it was single family up until 1979.

City legal council attorney Mark Fortunato said the city could take it to court, but because it has been a duplex for so long, a judge could rule that it can stay that way. He said once it goes before a judge, the ruling would be out of the city's hands.

Eddy also had issue with a dumpster that was brought in to clean out the home in the wake of the previous tenants moving out. The dumpster was placed on the property in front of the house and in the city right-of-way between the curb and sidewalk. Eddy complained that he had trouble exiting his drive because of the dumpster's size and had to drive partly into the street to see oncoming traffic.

City manager Joe Warino said he had already spoken to the owner and the dumpster was removed on a Saturday after sitting there a couple of days.

City Councilman Andy Skrobola said the whole issue of the zoning needs to be investigated by the zoning inspector and the city's legal team.

Another issue came up after resident Mike Kubitza asked if any headway had been made regarding the residence at 251 Fairview, which has been empty since last year. Warino said the city is still trying to find the owner of the property. He said when mortgage companies bundle and sell the mortgages, they are no longer listed by a single mortgage, but by the bundle.

"It can take several years to track down the present owner," he said.

Warino said the city is still working on it and will continue to do so.

In other business:

Warino said everyone in the city should have received a letter about the new lower gas rates that have been negotiated. He said the price agreed on is 19 cents lower that the actual price at the present time, which will save money for those on the city's aggregation program.

Resident Steve Easton again asked the city for an update to placing a retention/detention pond at the high school. Warino informed him that the city must first come up with a plan to present to the school, but he did say he spoke with Superintendent Dante Zambrini who informed him he would work with the city on the issue.

"Dante is on board to help out," Warino said, "but we can't move ahead until we have a plan and drawings to present."

Mayor William Kay informed council that he found out Canfield's Mayor's Court costs are extremely low when compared to other similar courts in Ohio. Presently court costs are set at $60.

"We'll probably be doiong some revamping in the near future," Kay said.

Fortunato informed council that he is presently working on legislation concerning electronic signage. He said it will be presented in the near future.

Council approved an ordinance declaring two police cruisers as surplus. Warino said both cruisers are old and by making the declaration, they can be replaced with a new vehicle as soon as one is purchased. Council also approved the purchase of one new one right now.

Council agreed to appoint attorney David C. Comstock Jr. as special counsel to the city.



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