FAIRLAWN: A disappointed crowd left City Hall on Thursday evening.
The Board of Zoning and Building Appeals unanimously approved variances that move John Blickle, of Rubber City McDonald’s, one step closer to opening a restaurant at the intersection of West Market Street and Shiawassee Avenue.
Some went as far as calling the proceedings a “farce” and exchanged a series of negative comments with board members as they walked out.
Klara A. Butman, a Fairlawn resident, was upset with the board’s decision. Butman, who works as an independent sales representative for Avon, says allowing McDonald’s into the neighborhood will only bring despair.
“McDonald’s doesn’t take care of its employees,” Butman said. “It has done more to contribute to the downfall of this country’s economy than any other corporation.”
For Butman, fear of crime is another issue. She referenced the April 6 shooting of a McDonald’s employee in Akron.
“If they are going to be open around the clock, there will be an increase in crime,” Butman said. “None of us wants that, but the board wasn’t even interested in hearing us.”
Resident Julie Caruso agreed, but her main issue was with the board itself.
“I am wildly disappointed it was five ‘yeses,’ ” Caruso said. “All those board members don’t live on this side of town. They live where their residents won’t be bothered by it.”
Fairlawn residents were not the only ones who had an issue with the board’s decision.
Councilwoman Susan Sullivan of Ward 5 did not hold back her disapproval.
“We are suffocated with traffic,” Sullivan said. “And so many people in the community have spoken up, and they are not listening to the community.”
Two members of the zoning board left before the media could ask any questions. The other three declined to comment.
Chris Randles, the city’s Zoning, Housing and Residential Building department commissioner, said the next step for McDonald’s is to take the proposal to the Planning Commission.
During this step, the company will find out if it needs to conduct traffic research or make any other changes in their plan.