Weather Forecast


116-acre development between Dickinson, South Heart closer to becoming a reality

A 116-acre property between Dickinson and South Heart moved a step closer to becoming home to a truck stop and retail businesses Tuesday.

The Stark County Commission approved the request to rezone the property of the landowners who live on the East Coast by a vote of 4-0, with Commissioner Jay Elkin absent, at its monthly meeting at the Stark County Courthouse.

Dickinson attorney Christina Wiskus, who represented the property owner Stephen Kalaijian, said her clients are considering making the front 400 feet of the property commercial businesses and the back of the property more industrial with possibility of a truck stop and parking along the access to 116th Avenue Southwest.

The property lies near Highway 10 and 116th Avenue Southwest.

But Wiskus said this is not the end of the process for her clients, though.

"My clients do not anticipate building anything within the next year because they are in New York and are dealing with Hurricane Sandy," she told the commissioners. "As far as immediate plans to build, they have none. We're just in the process of getting that ball rolling. It's a preliminary step to get it going."

Wiskus said she has already spoken to Southwest Water Authority about hooking up a water system the property, but she said she could not get a definite answer until there are site plans, which her clients have not drawn up yet because they were waiting to see if the property would be approved for rezoning.

Wiskus said Southwest Water gave her clients two options: the access pipeline is already out there, so as businesses become established, they could apply to Southwest Water and if they have capacity to supply the water they would, or her clients may set up their own water system with some type of meter and Southwest Water could supply a specific number of gallons of water to the development each month.

Commissioner Russ Hoff, who is also on the Planning and Zoning Board, said the board recommended the commission approve the rezoning request, which includes conditions from the county planner, Steve Josephson, including the need for the developers to put in buffers to block the development from the existing landowners.

"So it isn't like we're just saying, 'Go for it'," Hoff said. "They have to come back to you before they begin."

Josephson said the landowners will be required to come back to the County Commission with detailed site plans when they know a business is coming in. The landowners will be required to show where and what facilities will be on the property and ask the commission for approval before they can begin any building.

"This allows my client to get the ball rolling, as far as rezoning, but it also allows the county to have some kind of accountability as far as what will go out there and to keep the residential impact at a minimum, but also allowing us to take advantage of the traffic that's out there and really try to industrialize that section between Dickinson and South Heart," Wiskus said.