Council hears opposition to Rolling Acres auto salvage yard

November 19, 2008

Ward 9 – After hearing citizen concerns over water and quality of life issues for communities along Romig Road, Akron City Council will take time to consider an ordinance authorizing a conditional use to permit an auto salvage yard at 2039 Harlem Road, near Rolling Acres Mall.

Mike Mazzagatti, DBA Mike’s Shaker Auto Salvage Towing, petitioned Council for a conditional use of the property, and vowed to uphold city and state guidelines for operating such a business, including erecting an eight-foot-high solid fence around the perimeter of the property, limiting dismantling of vehicles between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., and conforming with state and local environmental regulations.

Still, five area residents and business owners spoke in opposition to the ordinance during last night’s public hearing on the matter. Many cited concerns over potential chemical runoff from the planned salvage yard making its way from the top of Romig Road down to the well water supply that many in this pocket of Southwest Akron rely on.

Ward 9 Councilman Mike Freeman said the rocky geological makeup of the area made it difficult to run sewer lines, and therefore many rely on well water.

“We have wells to the north, to the east behind where Toys R Us used to be, and I have a strong feeling there are wells to the west toward Norton,” Freeman said. “We’re not just talking Akron residents; we’re talking everybody that borders that piece of property.”

In addition to those who spoke out during last night’s public hearing, Freeman said he also received letters from more than 50 residents and business owners objecting to the salvage yard.

“They expressed legitimate concerns about water and the general impact on the surrounding neighbors if this ordinance were to pass,” Freeman said. “The other thing is that a salvage yard does not fit up there. We rezoned everything in that area light industrial, and I would like to see us stay consistent.”