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Published: Thursday, 9/13/2007

Zoning panel denies request for a carryout Beverly area's fight not over

BY TOM TROY
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Residents of South Toledo's Beverly neighborhood cheered their victory yesterday over an application request for a carryout at South Detroit Avenue and South Byrne Road, though more battles await.

The case, which prompted the Toledo Plan Commission to change the way it notifies neighbors of pending zoning cases, goes to the full Toledo City Council for a vote.

Council's zoning and planning committee voted unanimously against the special-use permit for 4338 South Detroit sought by Nabil Shannak. Five members were present.

Also yesterday, Mayor Carty Finkbeiner urged council to oppose the application.

"Both the mayor and City Council need to be sensitive to the will of the neighbors and stand in opposition to this carryout being placed in this neighborhood," Mr. Finkbeiner wrote.

More than a dozen Beverly-area residents took to the microphone to complain that the store, with its expected licenses to sell beer, wine, and cigarettes, would threaten their children's safety and their homes' property values.

The dispute featured prominently in the council election campaign of unendorsed Democrat Ed Cichy, who helped organize neighbors to express their opposition. Mr. Cichy, who attended yesterday's meeting, lost his bid for one of two spots on the Nov. 6 general election ballot Tuesday.

Linda Mansour, attorney for Mr. Shannak, said opponents spread misinformation about him. She said he is a good family man whose business eventually would win over the neighborhood if given a chance.

She did not dispute a police report that Mr. Shannak was charged with selling beer to an underage buyer on Nov. 8, 2003, at his previous business, River Carryout, 2485 Broadway. But she noted the charge was reduced to a minor misdemeanor, and said it was the only infraction on his record.

Rebecca Sillery, who lives a block away on Colby Drive, read from two police reports describing arrests on different dates for underage beer sales at Mr. Shannak's former business, which closed this year.

Councilman Ellen Grachek, who in a previous committee meeting supported the application, said she voted against it to support the neighbors. But she said the city's rejection of a special-use permit might not hold up in court.

District Councilman Rob Ludeman recalled that only four people showed up at a neighborhood meeting Aug. 9.

He described Mr. Shannak as "a fine man," and said he was "extremely disappointed" that people were "stirred up for the wrong reasons," but he also voted for disapproval.

Complaints from neighbors that they didn't get adequate notice about the request for a convenience store permit prompted Calvin Lawshe, director of the plan commission, to expand the area in which notices are sent, from the adjacent neighbors to a one-eighth-mile radius.

Contact Tom Troy at:

tomtroy@theblade.com

or 419-724-6058.



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