CVS plan in Ravenna may hinge on extra parking lot

By Micah Panczyk Record-Courier staff writer Published:

Ravenna Law Director Frank Cimino is recommending the city require construction of an overflow parking lot for Plaza East before approving a pharmacy's proposal to build a new store on an adjacent lot.

Council's planning committee recently approved Dr. David Lan's proposal to build a parking lot at 344 E. Main Street, the site of the historic Watkins House just east of Plaza East.

The lot would recoup 38 of 45 spaces the city will loose should CVS Pharmacy build at the corner of Pratt and Main streets, according to Cimino. Lans' wife, Lily, has said a new pharmacy would consume only 40 spaces. The proposed CVS site presently provides overflow parking for Plaza East, a retail and office building. Lan owns the Watkins House, Plaza East and the lot on which CVS would build.

" ... The Planning Commission should require as a condition of the approval ... the construction of these 38 parking spaces to the east of the Plaza East development," Cimino wrote in a letter to Mayor Paul Jones. "The occupancy permit for the CVS development (should) not be granted unless this additional parking space is in fact completed and available for the Plaza East complex."

Cimino is also recommending that the city require Lan to replatt Plaza East so that it includes his new lot. This replatting would ensure that the 38-space lot could not be sold independently of the plaza, Cimino said.

CVS would build a roughly 10,000 square-foot structure that would furnish a greater array of products, wider aisles and a drive-thru facility, company representatives said previously.

Council President Kevin Poland, however, contends the project could aggravate an existing parking shortage and could elevate traffic volume on Pratt and Riddle streets. In addition, the project would require either relocation or demolition of the Watkins House, which was built before the Civil War, according to Alice Kleinhampl of the Ravenna Heritage Association.

Council approved an ordinance last week rezoning from residential to commercial use CVS's proposed construction site. The pharmacy's proposal now requires the Planning Commission's approval and approval from the Board of Zoning Appeals' on a trio of variance requests.

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