Correction: An earlier version of this article reported that Streetsboro Councilman Justin Ring cast the sole vote against implementing a temporary moratorium on car washes, hotels and motels. Council Member Steve Michniak also voted against the measure, which council ultimately approved. The article and headline have been updated.
Streetsboro City Council on Jan. 23 approved a temporary moratorium on new car washes, hotels and motels, reasoning that the city already has enough of these establishments.
Council members Justin Ring and Steve Michniak cast votes in opposition. Ring said he felt the legislation was too narrow and arbitrary.
“Why not chicken restaurants, pizza shops, etc?” he said in an interview after the meeting.
Ring said he also worried about opening the city to potential litigation, suggesting that revisiting the city’s zoning code would be a more effective means of addressing concerns about market saturation.
“I am very hesitant to tell someone who wants to invest in our community that we don’t want them, unless of course it brings an adverse impact to our community,” he said. “I believe in free market capitalism and feel that government should be involved as little as possible, certainly not cherry-picking business types on a whim.”
Streetsboro Mayor Glenn Broska has previously said the moratorium is a way to protect longtime businesses in the city while preventing price wars that can hurt their bottom line. The city will use the time, estimated at six to nine months, to conduct a study on market conditions.
Streetsboro isn’t the only Portage County community to temporarily block new development. Aurora put a stop on new housing developments, pending its own studies looking at zoning and infrastructure needs.
Moratorium aside, Streetsboro has already approved another laser (touchless) car wash — Streetsboro’s fifth — on Singletary Drive and a Holiday Inn Express hotel behind Wild Eagle Steak & Saloon on state Route 14.
Wendy DiAlesandro is a former Record Publishing Co. reporter and contributing writer for The Portager.
Preventing price wars that can hurt bottom lines? Sounds like crony capitalism to me.