Proposed city moratorium on demolitions to be heard

By Joshua Benton
Blade Staff Writer

Page 11

Mayor Carty Finkbeiner’s proposed 60-day moratorium on demolition permits will get a hearing tomorrow before a council committee.

City council’s zoning and planning committee will decide at 9 a.m. if it wants to reverse course and stop a drugstore development it has twice voted to support.

The mayor proposed the moratorium, which would affect about half the city, to stop a new Rite Aid store at Broadway and South Avenue. To build a new store, Rite Aid would tear down several older buildings that the mayor considers important to the neighborhood’s historic character.

The council voted 10-2 on Nov. 24 to approve the Rite Aid project. When the mayor used his veto, the council voted 9-3 to override his veto.

Some council members have expressed opposition to the moratorium, saying that the mayor has failed to understand that the council wants the project to go forward.

At last night’s council meeting, President Peter Ujvagi said he would support the moratorium if there is an exception made for the proposed Rite Aid.

“I do not perceive this as `the mayor’s moratorium,”‘ he said. “I want to take the target off the mayor. In fact, I will put the target right on me.”

No matter what the committee decides, the full council will have to take up the proposed moratorium, likely at its Jan. 19 meeting.

The council will also consider:

* A proposed drugstore in East Toledo, a Walgreens at Woodville Road and East Broadway.

The Toledo city plan commission staff recommended that the council not approve the drugstore because of concerns about disrupting a residential neighborhood. But the full commission voted to approve the proposal, which now must be approved by the council.

Mr. Finkbeiner said his proposed moratorium was also in response to the Walgreens project.

* Approving zoning changes to allow the Edison steam plant downtown to be converted into apartments and retail. The council will be asked to convert some of the greenspace surrounding the plant from industrial zoning to a park.

* Approving a group home at 3217 Wendover Rd. The commission has recommended against approving the zoning change because of parking concerns.