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The Collection Auto Group's planned Volkswagen dealership, which would be located on Route 14 about midway between Fifth-Third Bank and Great Lakes Hyundai in front of Shady Lake Apartments, took a step toward becoming a reality April 8.
The Streetsboro Planning and Zoning Commission granted its approval to a site plan 7-0, subject to administrative review by Planning Director John Cieszkowski Jr.
Because the Volkwagen site is one element of a larger integrated development plan at Shady Lake, City Council still would need to approve an amendment to the integrated development plan for the project to be approved.
The Collection Auto Group President Bernie Moreno said he hopes to break ground on the 23,239-square-foot building this month.
Geis Co. Architect Greg Seifert, representing The Collection Auto Group, said Volkswagen's specs for the building are the "most stringent" of all the car dealerships the company has built in Streetsboro, which includes Great Lakes Hyundai and the Classic Auto Group's Streetsboro dealerships.
The site plan features a large detention pond between the dealership and Fifth-Third Bank and more than 400 parking spots. There is landscaping planned between Shady Lake Apartments and the dealership, which should buffer residents from the view of the car lot, and buffering landscaping along the western edge of the property, as well. Small islands of plants also are planned within the parking lot, according to plans.
Planning and Zoning Commission member Chuck Kocisko said he believes the construction of the Volkswagen dealership may present an opportunity to get the speed on Route 14 lowered.
"My biggest complaint on Route 14 is the speed," he said. "That traffic doesn't slow down until you get past the Honda dealership."
The speed limit changes from 35 mph to 50 mph just west of the Volkswagen site, said Streetsboro Police Lt. Darin Powers, and it increases again from 50 mph to 65 just west of the turnpike bridge.
Mayor Glenn Broska said he agrees with Kocisko it's time to try to lower the speed limit on Route 14.
"From that traffic light at Walmart, I personally don't have a problem with it going down to 35 mph," he said. "I think it's the right time."
Broska said he will ask GPD Group, the city's engineering firm, to conduct a speed study along the state route. The Ohio Department of Transportation has the final word on whether to change speed limits on state routes.
Seasons Road resident Paul Yupa said he's concerned nearby residents could be bothered by light and noise from the dealership, as they have been by other dealerships in town.
"As far as noise goes, a lot of dealerships have outdoor speakers and pagers," he said, adding he's also concerned nearby residents of Shady Lake may find the light from the lot distracting.
Seifert said there will be no outside speakers or pager system.
"With everyone having cell phones, they're just not that necessary," he said.
The lights in the rear lot, which are closer to Shady Lake Apartments, will have cut off shields that will shield residents from light coming directly from the LED bulbs, said Seifert.
"If there are glare issues, we're going to work with residents to make sure there's nothing perceived as light [pollution] coming from that site," said Seifert. "We're very sensitive to that issue. From day 1, we said those things have got to be correct here."
FB: The Gateway News/Bob Gaetjens
Welcome to Streetsboro, Collection Auto Group !
It would be great to see the speed limit reduced to 35 m.p.h. along route 14 in Streetsbor all the way to the Frost Road exit. Traffic from the Turnpike has a very sharp turn while heading west and too short of a run before needing to merge onto I-480. Very few cars merging onto I-480 at this location are up to highway speed, especially semi-trucks. This is very hazardous. Turnpike truck drivers who know of this upcoming need drive the sharp curve too fast to help get up to speed, but in doing this, risk rolling their rig. While route 14 is very wide and highway like, there are many entrances to businesses along this stretch. Cars that are speeding along at 50 m.p.h. can come upon turning cars too quickly. Of course there is widespread speeding along this stretch due to cars that have not adjusted their speed significantly after coming off I-480. It would be safer all around if the Frost Road overpass was post with 35 m.p.h. signage and rumble strips on the roadway below it to enforce the speed change. With the Rte 14/Rte 43 intersection being one of the most hazardous in the county, perhaps the reduced speed further along the stretch of route 14 would in some way improve that situation.