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The Streetsboro Planning and Zoning Commission has granted approval for a site plan for The Collection Auto Group's planned Volkswagen dealership on S.R. 14 about midway between Fifth-Third Bank and Great Lakes Hyundai in front of Shady Lake Apartments.
The vote was unanimous and the site plan is subject to administrative review by Planning Director John Cieszkowski Jr.
Because the Volkwagen site is one element of a larger integrated development plan at Shady Lake, City Council still would need to approve an amendment to the integrated development plan for the project to be approved.
The Collection Auto Group President Bernie Moreno said he hopes to break ground on the 23,239-square-foot building this month.
Geis Co. Architect Greg Seifert, representing The Collection Auto Group, said Volkswagen's specs for the building are the "most stringent" of all the car dealerships the company has built in Streetsboro, which includes Great Lakes Hyundai and the Classic Auto Group's Streetsboro dealerships.
The site plan features a large detention pond between the dealership and Fifth-Third Bank and more than 400 parking spots. There is landscaping planned between Shady Lake Apartments and the dealership, which should buffer residents from the view of the car lot, and buffering landscaping along the western edge of the property, as well. Small islands of plants also are planned within the parking lot, according to plans.
Planning and Zoning Commission member Chuck Kocisko said he believes the construction of the Volkswagen dealership may present an opportunity to get the speed on S.R. 14 lowered.
"My biggest complaint on Route 14 is the speed," he said. "That traffic doesn't slow down until you get past the Honda dealership."
The speed limit changes from 35 mph to 50 mph just west of the Volkswagen site, said Streetsboro Police Lt. Darin Powers, and it increases again from 50 mph to 65 just west of the turnpike bridge.
Mayor Glenn Broska said he agrees with Kocisko it's time to try to lower the speed limit on Route 14.
"From that traffic light at Walmart, I personally don't have a problem with it going down to 35 mph," he said. "I think it's the right time."
Broska said he will ask GPD Group, the city's engineering firm, to conduct a speed study along the state route. The Ohio Department of Transportation has the final word on whether to change speed limits on state routes.
Seasons Road resident Paul Yupa said he's concerned nearby residents could be bothered by light and noise from the dealership, as they have been by other dealerships in town.
"As far as noise goes, a lot of dealerships have outdoor speakers and pagers," he said, adding he's also concerned nearby residents of Shady Lake may find the light from the lot distracting.
Seifert said there will be no outside speakers or pager system.
"With everyone having cell phones, they're just not that necessary," he said.
The lights in the rear lot, which are closer to Shady Lake Apartments, will have cut off shields that will shield residents from light coming directly from the LED bulbs, said Seifert.
"If there are glare issues, we're going to work with residents to make sure there's nothing perceived as light [pollution] coming from that site," said Seifert. "We're very sensitive to that issue. From day 1, we said those things have got to be correct here."
FB: The Gateway News/Bob Gaetjens