SSSS, Inc. – A site plan was approved for 5,300 sq. ft. building at 33160 Solon Road for use as a Hindu cultural center.
Broadband Access – An alternate solution for broadband Internet access will be available to the Solon business community this spring. 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 Rezoning – Council received a request to rezone 21.65 acres from C-3 Commercial to R-3 Multi-Family Residential. The project, known as The Fountains of Solon, would be located at the intersection of Solon Road and Erico Drive, east of Sedlak Interiors. The multi-family development of luxury apartment rental units would consist of two 3-story buildings with 77 suites each, and thirty-two 2-story townhouses. This item was referred to the Planning Commission for study.
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 approved 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. A public hearing will be held at the May 5th Council meeting.
Kudos – For the fifth consecutive year, the City of Solon Finance Department received a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for its 2012 Comprehensive Annual Finance Report. According to the national Government Finance Officers Association, this certificate is the highest form of recognition in governmental accounting and financial reporting.
The City of Solon and Greater Cleveland Partnership were named finalists in the annual Team NEO Economic Development Plus Awards, Business Attraction category, for their joint efforts in the relocation of the Nestle Pizza Division from Northbrook IL to Solon. Winners in this and other categories will be announced in July.
High School Entrepreneurship – Three Solon High School graduates – Zach Schwartz, Samir Amrania, and Vibhu Krishna – partnered in the summer of 2012 to create LightHouse Ohio—the country’s first entrepreneurial accelerator for high school students. Since its inception, LightHouse Ohio has worked with hundreds of students from dozens of Northeast Ohio high schools (including many from Solon), and has received recognition from nationally renowned entrepreneurs and politicians. As a nonprofit, the organization is currently looking for donors to help sponsor named fellowships for its students, teams and businesses! If you are interested in supporting entrepreneurship at the high school level, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.lighthouseohio.com.
Energy Efficiency Rebate Program – First Energy is offering rebates to industrial and commercial businesses for improvements to increase energy efficiency and reduce electricity consumption. These programs are offered in accordance with Ohio Senate Bill 221 of 2008 and are designed to help meet the state’s goals to reduce electricity usage and peak demand while encouraging commercial and industrial customers to save energy and money. The cost of these programs is recovered through customer rates in accordance with Senate Bill 221. Generally, pre-approval is required before purchase and installation of materials. Improvements may include, but are not limited to, lighting for existing or new facilities, appliances, HVAC and water heating, food service equipment, facility audits, and equipment for data centers. For more information, visit www.energysaveoh-business.com or contact Brian Smith of Sodexo (program delivery contractor for First Energy) at 330-398-9650.
Business Resources – Please visit the city’s web site for a list of business seminars and special events sponsored by local economic development agencies.
S.O.M. Center – Council approved the following items: 1) Removal of the restriction prohibiting a left turn on S.O.M. 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.
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%.
Concrete Repair – As part of the annual concrete repair program, the removal and replacement of concrete pavement on Hall Street is underway. Weather permitting, the project should be completed by late May.