Planning And Zoning Committee Is A Necessary Step

Lakewood is in a unique position.

There is such a diversity of constituencies within the village of Lakewood that zoning is difficult. The village has a busy commercial corridor with areas ripe for development or, in some cases, redevelopment. It also has the quaint downtown area on Chautauqua Avenue that is perfect for certain types of businesses. Then, the village has its picturesque lakefront areas that provide so much of the area’s tax base.

Lakewood is one of few areas in the county that can be described as booming, and part of that is because the village has a history of not micromanaging new development. Recent developments have shown a shift from that business friendly atttiude in regard to zoning and planning, most notably with Larry Spacciapolli’s car lot on Fairmount Avenue and Jill Laemmerhirt’s shop, Endless Love.

The creation of a village trustee’s Planning and Zoning Committee is a necessary step after those controversial proposals that led to moratoriums on adult novelty businesses, electronic signs, car dealerships and storage sheds. Public discussion and action on such items as Spacciapolli’s car lot, electronic signs and the Endless Love shop make one think these discussions will end up in zoning changes that are restrictive in nature – a direction that can easily backfire on Lakewood if the Planning and Zoning Committee isn’t careful.

Committee members should remember sensible zoning and common sense are what made Lakewood successful in the first place. Changing that recipe for success could definitely be bad for business.