George W. Davis
GREEN: The city is considering a 700-acre entertainment district, which could lure more restaurants, supermarkets and other alcohol-related businesses to Green and further enhance city coffers.
Planning Director Wayne Wiethe laid out his scenario for the city’s first such district during last week’s City Council committee meeting.
Council is expected to tackle the issue at its Feb. 12 session, according to At-Large Councilman Gerard Neugebauer, chair of council’s Planning, Community and Economic Development Committee.
Stating that such a district would create a “more vibrant” area for Green, Wiethe noted that one state requirement would involve a $50 million public/private investment within the designated area, which the city already meets based on the proposed boundaries.
He also said that such a district could provide up to 15 new liquor permits from the state, which would be important in attracting more restaurants, supermarkets and other facilities dependant upon such permits.
The proposed district, with focus on the Massillon Road development area, would stretch from the Graybill Road area and Boettler Road on the south to Tabs Drive on the west and then north to East Turkeyfoot Lake Road [state Route 619] and Lindakay Drive. Included would be the Acme Fresh Market and Summa property on the south side of Graybill.
Wiethe said the state allows one liquor permit for every five acres within an entertainment district up to a maximum of 15. Currently, there are 13 state liquor permits in Green plus a waiting list of other businesses seeking permits, he said.
He added that the state Liquor Control Commission must give approval if council gives its OK.
Ward 1 Councilman Jim Colopy said D5 liquor permits are desirable for large restaurant chains and others that could then come to Green.
At-Large Councilman Joel Reed, in asking if more acreage could be included at this time, was told by Wiethe that the city would rather wait for more development near the first district so the administration could consider adding a second such district.
Mayor Dick Norton said an entertainment district is the only way for the city to get more liquor licenses, which are limited by state requirements.
Law Director Stephen Pruneski said the proposed district “is designed for the type of businesses we want to attract.”