Thursday, September 23, 2010


The Stark County Political Report has been hearing for some time  now that the Nimishillen Township trustees do not get along very well.  Moreover, they have had a difficult time working with the City of Louisville going back a number of years.  Additionally, they are a major holdout on joining the Stark County reconfigured (centralized dispatch) 911 effort.

So it was no surprise to The Report when two trustees appeared at a Stark County commissioner hearing on a proposed alley vacate petition on opposite sides of the fence.

The owner of the property (Precision Holdings LLC - "Precision") on which the Carriage House Bar is located had filed the petition for vacating an alley way on its west border.

Trustee Lisa Shafer stood up and said she was "for" the vacate.

Trustee Allen Gress said that he (and appeared to include Trustee Mike Lynch in using the word "we") was against the alley vacate until such time as the township could work out an agreement with the owner of the bar which sits adjacent to the alley to limit the number of outside music concerts to perhaps one a month.

Gress, who did not even mention the major stakeholder in preventing a vacate of the alley; namely, Kellie Mathie, an adjoining owner to Carriage House, opposed the vacate.  He did so primarily because a vacate by commissioners would free Carriage House to reconfigure the property (the entire alley would revert to Precision) so that she and her family could not get access to a "barn" which houses their vehicles at the rear of the family home.

It took Commissioner Steven Meeks to rein Gress in by unmistakably suggesting to him that he would not support extending the commissioners date for granting the vacate unless the trustees made the Mathie family ingress/egress a primary factor in negotiating with Precision/Carriage House a solution to the noise problem.

Legal counsel for Precision flatout promised the commissioners that his client would be pleased to grant the Mathie family a license over the Precision property where Honey Alley now exists so that they can get their vehicles in and out of their barn.

Gress looked pretty silly to the SCPR in his presentation.  Mathie presented very effectively.

In the video that is provided below, Commissioner Bosley tells Trustee Gress that the commissioners will not be considering his beer sales outside equating to unacceptable noise frequency argument in coming to a decision. 

The commissioners did the right thing in granting more time.

But Gress should not misinterpret the commissioners' conciliatory action as an embracing of his notion of using withholding the vacate as leverage to get his way on limiting the number of outside activities held by Carriage House.

Clearly, the commissioners are looking to protect the Mathie family; not to assist Trustee Gress (and his ally Zoning Inspector Keith Lasure) in township efforts (remember Trustee Shafer says there is no undealt-with noise problem) to control noise emanating from the Carriage House.

Accordingly, Trustee Gress is going to have to find another way to deal with the noise issue in conjunction with Trustees Shafer and Lynch.

Once the commissioners are satisfied that the Mathie family have been protected in their ingress/egress need, then The Report believes that they will move forward in 60 days (the extension period granted) to grant the alley vacate.

Here is the video.

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