CVS eyes new site in Ravenna

By Micah Panczyk Record-Courier staff writer Published:

In a bid to build a new store, CVS Pharmacy has requested that two parcels south of the Ravenna Savings Bank drive-through facility on East Main Street, just west of Plaza East, be rezoned from residential to commercial.

Two homes, one on each plot, would be razed to accommodate a 60-space parking lot _ a lot CVS representative Sam Petros said is essential to the company's relocation. The proposal came at a meeting of the city's planning commission Thursday.

CVS, which purchased Revco in May, would build a roughly 10,000-square feet facility near the corner of East Main and Pratt streets. The store would be open 24 hours a day and would stand on a parcel zoned for commercial use.

Several residents _ among them Council President Kevin Poland _ expressed reservations.

"I have a number of concerns," said Poland, an East Riddle Street resident. "The traffic at Pratt and Main is abysmal, especially around 4 p.m. I can guarantee that your proposal would back traffic as far as Riddle."

"I'm also worried about homes across from these lots," he added. "I'm not sure residents would want to look upon a parking lot and I imagine that, at night, they would be bothered by the lighting," he said.

Poland is not a member of the planning commission.Kathleen Loomis, of 247 Pratt St., echoed Poland's concern about traffic.

"How much traffic flow will Pratt Street residents have to contend with?" she asked. She also questioned whether the value of real estate near the site would suffer as a result of inflated traffic.

"We have yet to perform any formal traffic studies, but we don't expect increased traffic volume on Pratt Street," Petros said. "Our job is to bring traffic off, and then back on, to Main Street."

"CVS will work on all of these details," he added. "These (details) are a concern to us too. Right now, though, we are only seeking a conceptual approval."

On several grounds, however, the commission withheld such approval, recommending the company present its rezoning request to council.

"The key issue here is whether or not council is willing to rezone these parcels," said Service Director Don Kainrad. "If they are not rezoned, the proposal is essentially dead."

In addition, the preliminary proposal would require three variances concerning front and side yard depth and the number of parking spaces in the lot. While 60 spaces are proposed. 67 are required, Kainrad said. As a result of the variances required, the commission also recommended that CVS request these from the Board of Zoning Appeals.

In addition to these approvals, the company would need the commission to authorize a detailed site plan. The structure's architecture would also require approval from the Design Review Committee.

Should these conditions be satisfied, the commission would require a plan detailing how overflow parking from Plaza East would be accommodated. Under the current proposal, the new store would consume space that now accommodates this excess, Kainrad said.

Dr. David and Lilian Lan, who own Plaza East, have purchased a lot adjacent to, and east of, it. They also have options on two other adjacent properties owned by Dewey Gatts, Kainrad said. These properties could be used for Plaza East parking.

CVS would likely close its downtown Revco building, which measures roughly 3,300 square-feet, Petros said. It is unclear whether the company would close the Revco on East Main Street near Giant Eagle, Kainrad said.

In other business, the commission approved the final site plan submitted by the Ravenna Church of Christ. RCC immediately will begin building a new structure at the corner of Summit Road and Harvest Drive, just east of Willyard Elementary School, Kainrad said. The church is presently located near the corner of Park Avenue and Beech Street.

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