A request for a zoning change to create additional parking for a proposed bar on Airport Highway near South Street is raising the ire of residents of the South Toledo neighborhood.
The Toledo Plan Commission is set to hear a proposal on Thursday from Cornelius Henry, the owner of Proper Living Management LLC to modify the zoning at 2214 Airport, which at one time was the South-Aire Lounge, a popular restaurant and lounge until the 1980s.
The 1.43-acre parcel, which has mixed zoning that allows for residential and commercial use, is nestled among homes on Danberry, Dana, Kenmore, and Ward streets, and located several blocks from Burroughs Elementary School.
Joyce Douglas, who lives on one of the streets, said she is opposed to any zoning change that would allow Henry to expand parking on land that is zoned for single-family residences.
“I want the property to remain residential,” said Ms. Douglas, who told Toledo Police Chief William Moton about her concerns at last week’s meeting of the Burroughs Neighborhood Association.
The property owner’s attorneys have invited nearby residents to a meeting at 5 p.m. Tuesday in the Byrneport Shopping Plaza, 3115 Airport Hwy., to share information about their client’s plans for the building.
Henry, 35, who has criminal convictions for drug trafficking and assault, would not agree to be interviewed by The Blade to discuss his plans for the property.
However, his attorney, Joseph Solomon, said his client is asking for zoning modifications to create additional parking for the building, which Henry would then lease to another business owner for use as an “upscale night club.”
Henry bought the property in 2012. He was cited by the Toledo’s Department of Inspection in October, 2013, for doing construction work in the building without getting an occupancy permit from the city.
He pleaded no contest to misdemeanor change of occupancy inconsistent with its last certified use in Toledo Housing Court and was given a suspended jail sentence and a $200 fine on May 14, a week after he obtained the needed building permits.
Henry was sentenced in 2010 to 17 months in prison after he was convicted of aggravated assault and aggravated possession of drugs in Lucas County Common Pleas Court. He has a previous conviction in 2002 of trafficking in marijuana in Lucas County.
According to the plan commission staff, part of the two-story building and an existing parking lot behind it are zoned residential while a parking area east of the building off Airport is zoned general commercial.
The staff is recommending to the five-member plan commission that zoning for the entire building and 35 feet behind it be amended to commercial. However, the recommendation calls for the board to retain the residential zoning for rest of the property.
Molly Tomaszewski, who owns a home and commercial property in the neighborhood, said she is concerned about the noise the proposed nightclub would bring as well as the increased traffic, disturbances, and criminal activity that could occur.
“This is a residential neighborhood, and one of the houses is just a few feet from the parking lot,” she said.
The Ohio Division of Liquor Control has received an application from Club Kingdom LLC to transfer an existing liquor permit in the city to Henry’s property on Airport. Ronald Carpenter, the agent for Club Kingdom, listed the address for his business at 703 Byrne Rd., the same address for Henry’s Proper Living Management.
The plan commission will have a meeting at 2 p.m. Thursday in City Council Chambers in One Government Center.
Contact Mark Reiter at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6199.