OUR VIEW: Muzzy Lake concerns valid issue in Rootstown

Published:

Concerns raised by Muzzy Lake area residents regarding a proposal to rebuild and enlarge the Speedway gas station in Rootstown ought to be given serious consideration before a decision on the plan is finalized by township officials.

The plans presented by Speedway call for the gas station at S.R. 44 and Lynn Road to be rebuilt and enlarged. There would be fueling areas for cars and three sites for semi tractor-trailers to buy diesel fuel.

Muzzy Lake residents are concerned that the project will further impact drainage in the area, which has battled flooding that has damaged homes and yards there. Efforts to resolve the flooding issue have been frustrated because multiple jurisdictions are involved and none of them seems willing or able to take the lead in coming up with a solution.

Speedway's proposal includes a dry retention basin to handle drainage, but Muzzy Lake residents remain concerned that further development at the site will increase the potential for flooding. Concerns about what would happen if the retention basin becomes full following a particularly heavy rain are a valid issue.

The Portage County Regional Planning Commission has recommended against granting approval to the Speedway project. The Rootstown Township Zoning Commission considered rejecting the project at its meeting this week, but opted instead to hold a public hearing on Oct. 21 before making a final decision.

The planning agency recommended rejecting the project because the area is now zoned for residential/office use, which is supposed to promote mixed development rather than what Speedway is proposing. That concern also ought to be taken into consideration.

Another interested party whose input should be solicited is the city of Ravenna, whose municipal water supply is part of the Muzzy Lake watershed. We hope that the city weighs in on the project when the public hearing is held.

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