November 24, 2014

Medina
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Williams on the Lake, residents opposed to asphalt manufacturing plant

A line of trees separates the Williams on the Lake banquet hall, left, from the site of a proposed asphalt manufacturing plant. (ANDREW DAVIS / GAZETTE)

A line of trees separates the Williams on the Lake banquet hall, left, from the site of a proposed asphalt manufacturing plant. (ANDREW DAVIS / GAZETTE)

The Medina Planning Commission is urging a road construction material company and a local banquet hall to settle their differences privately.

The Shelly Co., of Cleveland, wants to move an asphalt manufacturing plant from 310 N. State Road about a mile to 820 W. Smith Road.

The Shelly Co. needs a conditional zoning certificate from the Planning Commission to move the plant.

The owners of Williams on the Lake, a banquet facility at 787 Lafayette Road and some area residents oppose the move, saying they fear the plant negatively would affect their business and health.

Resident Nancy Williams tells Medina Planning Commission members last week that she fears fumes from a proposed asphalt plant on West Smith Road could endanger her husband, who had a lung transplant earlier this year. (ANDREW DAVIS / GAZETTE)

Resident Nancy Williams tells Medina Planning Commission members last week that she fears fumes from a proposed asphalt plant on West Smith Road could endanger her husband, who had a lung transplant earlier this year. (ANDREW DAVIS / GAZETTE)

The asphalt plant is owned by the Kokosing Construction Co., but it would be relocated to a site owned by the Shelly Co. Kokosing would operate the plant.

Chad Reel, of the Shelly Co., told Planning Commission members last week the move would benefit both companies because they could share train tracks, a storage pit and other resources needed to produce road paving and construction materials.

“The goal is to drive our prices down,” Reel said.

Jennifer Nau, assistant manager of Williams on the Lake, spoke against the proposal at the city’s Board of Zoning Appeals meeting July 10.

Noting that Williams on the Lake hosts more than 40 weddings each summer, Nau said two 65-foot silos that would be part of the asphalt plant would be within 100 yards of the banquet hall’s outdoor patio.

“It is going to be directly in the area of where our couples and guests will be taking photos,” she said.

Mark Williams, general manager of the banquet hall, said his family lives on the lakefront property and fears the asphalt plant also would be a health risk.

Nancy Williams, Mark’s mother, said fumes from the plant would endanger her husband, Vergil Williams, who had a lung transplant earlier this year.

“This asphalt plant would negatively impact our family,” she said. “We would have to move.”

Frank Mollica, who lives on Lafayette Road, said his wife has a severe airborne latex allergy.

“Latex is a big part of tarring and asphalt,” he said. “This plant will be less than 1,000 feet from our house.”

Deborah Lee, who lives on Blanot Street, said she fears that the smell from the plant, as well as the increased health risks, would diminish property values in the area.

Rick Grice, chairman of the commission, which met immediately after the Board of Zoning Appeals meeting July 10, suggested that the Shelly Co. remove its request for the zoning certificate and meet with the Williams on the Lake owners to discuss possible ways to resolve the disagreement.

“I would suggest that you table this, because if not, we would have to act on this tonight or at the next meeting,” he said.

The Shelly Co. agreed to withdraw its proposal. An attorney for the company declined further comment.

Contact reporter Andrew Davis at (330) 721-4050 or adavis@medina-gazette.com.