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Published: 7/26/2006

Store gets a 2-week reprieve on permit

A proposed permit for a convenience store in the Dorr Street-Collingwood Boulevard neighborhood won a two-week reprieve last night from Toledo City Council but appeared to be losing support among councilmen.

Council agreed, over the objections of District 4 Councilman Michael Ashford, to give at-large Councilman Lourdes Santiago two weeks to try to reach a compromise that would allow Spot Mini Mart, 525 Dorr St., to keep its special use permit.

Homeowners near the shopping plaza at Dorr and Collingwood say the store's beer and wine sales attract loiterers and littering, and blame the store's customers for a rash of home break-ins in the surrounding neighborhood.

Because of a mistake blamed on a city plan commission staffer, the store was allowed to open without the required permit two years ago, and was ordered last year to apply for the permit.

Mr. Ashford said the store has allowed people to hang out and create an "intimidating" environment. His motion to force the question to a vote of council failed narrowly, giving the store two weeks to try to win over council members.

However, approval of the permit would require nine votes because it received a negative recommendation from the Toledo Plan Commission. Four councilmen have now indicated their opposition - Mr. Ashford, Wilma Brown, Frank Szollosi, and Mark Sobczak - leaving only eight either in support or undeclared.

Ms. Santiago said she has visited the store repeatedly in recent weeks and has not seen illegal or intimidating behavior. She said council should find a way to support a small business that employs 10 people and which serves the community as a local market. She said a compromise could include restricted hours and security patrols.

Mr. Ashford criticized Ms. Santiago's intervention in the issue.

"You have taken on this task to negotiate this on behalf of yourself," Mr. Ashford said, pointing out that she doesn't live in the neighborhood.

Ms. Santiago shot back, "I'm a councilwoman at large. The whole city of Toledo is a concern for me."

Council also put off voting on the proposed "minimum habitability" ordinance, sending it back to the administration at Mayor Carty Finkbeiner's request. The legislation would require home sellers to obtain a certificate of minimum habitability before a house can be sold.

Council voted 11-0 to confirm 30 commissioners and directors appointed by Mayor Finkbeiner since the start of his term in January. Council President Rob Ludeman was absent. Confirmed were:

w●Directors Perlean Griffin, affirmative action/contract compliance; John Sherburne, finance; Theresa Gabriel, human resources; Patsy Scott, information and communications technology; Thomas Kroma, neighborhoods; Michael Navarre, police operations; Michael Bell, fire and rescue operations; William Franklin, public service; Robert Williams, public utilities; Robert Stevenson, waterways initiative; Dennis Garvin, parks, recreation, and forestry.

w●Executive directors Juanita Greene, board of community relations, and Dwayne Morehead, youth commission.

w●Commissioners Valerie Robertson, information and communications technology; Kenneth Neidert, fleet and facility operations; Julian Highsmith, solid waste; David Welch, streets, bridges, and harbor; Michael White, transportation; Kerry Bruce, utilities administration; Sherman Mosher, water distribution; Charles Campbell, sewer and drainage services; T. Casey Stephens, environmental services; F. Chris Middlebrough, water reclamation; John Walthall, water treatment; Adia Boston, purchasing; Clarence Coleman, taxation; Thomas Radwanski, accounts; John Bibish, budget; and Michael Badik, housing, and Chief Building Official Chris Young.

Still in an acting capacity are John Madigan, acting law director; the newly appointed commissioner of engineering, Warren Henry, and acting commissioner of inspection Robert Davis.



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