Ad Hoc Committee on Avon Lake Affairs Releases Findings – Morning Journal

The Avon Lake Commercial Navigation Special Committee has released its findings and recommendations after two years of research and work.

“We had a few companies that wanted to start a business and start a business and go through the process,” said Marty O’Donnell, a member of the Ad Hoc Commercial Shipping Committee and chair of the Avon Lake City Council’s finance committee. “There was a lot of fragmentation and they didn’t know who to contact in the process, and they didn’t get all the information they needed before they put a shovel in the ground.”

O’Donnell also talked about what the informal review process is and why they do it.

“It’s a much more streamlined process,” he said. “It’s a much more transparent process and a much better communication process about how we do things.”

Avon Lake officials have spoken with several city and municipal businesses, including the village of New Albany, Ohio, which landed the proposed Intel chip factory earlier this year.

The new Intel factory, which will occupy part of the Licking County portion of New Albany, is expected to be completed in 2025.

Avon Lake officials have also spoken to the towns of Hudson, Lakewood, Strongsville and Westlake to learn from them, O’Donnell said.

“We picked up bits and pieces from these different departments,” he said in reference to attracting and keeping businesses. “The most valuable were more like Dublin Community Development Services, Hudson Community Development Services, and Avon was helpful as well.”

Some of the plans and recommendations include combining planning and zoning departments into one called the community development department.

“It basically took planning and zoning and putting it under one department.” said O’Donnell.

O’Donnell also said the ad hoc committee took community development and handed it over to Ted Esborn, director of economic development for the town of Avon Lake, who will lead the community development department.

O’Donnell also explained why he streamlined the process.

“If there are any differences or discretions, the new business would be taken between these separate departments,” he said. “Zoning would say one thing, planning would say another and (the business) would get caught in the middle.”

The goal is to resolve all of these issues as quickly as possible and ensure the process continues to move forward, O’Donnell said, calling the singular process “invaluable.”

He sang the praises not only of the Special Commercial Shipping Committee, but also of the city for working with the committee and being so cooperative.

O’Donnell spoke hopefully about the future of the city with plans to have Avon Lake Towne Center, 500 Community Drive, potentially redeveloped among other improvements, but staying true to the reason the ad hoc committee was created. .

“We need to be much more efficient, more transparent and responsive to the needs of these new businesses that are coming,” he said.

O’Donnell said he was also very grateful to the many businesses that were open to having the conversation about realignment and what could be fixed to help businesses move to Avon Lake in the future.