Neighbor Against Marhofer's Rezoning Request: Letter to the Editor

"The large fence that Mr. Marhofer would like to erect would be less than 100-feet away from my property line," said Allyson C. Burley.

My husband and I recently purchased our home in Stow after living in nearby apartments for several years. The moment I walked into our home on Thorndale Avenue, I knew this was the place we were going to raise our future children. We are close to our family, work and just down the street from a great elementary school. We were ecstatic when we were able to move into our first home in April but our dreams quickly took a turn.

Less than a month after we were settled, we were notified that a large portion of the neighborhood we had just sunk our entire savings into was going to be demolished for a parking lot. The large fence that Mr. Marhofer would like to erect would be less than 100-feet away from my property line.  Instead of looking out my kitchen window and seeing decades-old trees, I will see a large white fence with a few “new, green” trees.

I understand that the Marhofer family has contributed greatly to the city of Stow; however, I find it disturbing that the Planning Commission is actually considering changing the zoning codes to benefit one business.  

What kind of precedent does this set for the rest of the community? To me, it says the zoning codes do not exist to protect residents and businesses; they are there to suit the needs of the few with money and power and can be changed on a whim.  

I strongly urge you to do everything within your power to prevent this from happening. I hope that I do not end up regretting my choice to invest in this community. 


Allyson C. Burley

To submit a letter to the editor, email local editor Amanda Harnocz

Doug Burley September 18, 2012 at 06:28 PM
I don't think anyone has an issue with the business being grandfathered in or continuing to operate or even redevelop within its existing footprint. The issue I have is with changing the codes to allow an "incompatable" business use to encroach on an existing residential area. Why not expand to some of the existing unoccupied commerical property in the city?
Teresa K. September 18, 2012 at 06:29 PM
Doug: i agree with you and allyson 100%. If he was merely expanding w/ in his current codes-- good for him. But if the zoning codes and/or city maps need to be changed, there is a definite problem. ALL Stow residents should be watching this situation closely. The codes in every city were put in place to protect all: residents and businesses. This will end up being a case of profit over people. Stow needs to be prepared for the fallout of whichever party they side with on this. Green space and fences only hide what is- they dont change it. I'm thinking it would have been cheaper and kinder of Marhofer's to have just bought an appropriately zoned property with more land and built elsewhere.
Teresa K. September 18, 2012 at 06:32 PM
@ed: would my comment be ok if I had family that lived close by to marhofers? the proposed plans are absolutely horrifying to me and I can only imagine how the neighbors near Marhofers feel.
Sort through the Facts September 18, 2012 at 06:41 PM
My comments are my opinion - I don't intend to defend my point of view because you are trying to promote your agenda. Maybe you, Mr. Burley, can build a garage down the street from where you live and use it to park your car and then walk home - using other "available" space in the city for your purposes. Or, maybe you can build a shed to store your lawnmower on property on a street other than where you live. How practical is that. (Please don't answer, really.)
Mike Barnes September 18, 2012 at 06:48 PM
We have lived in Munroe Falls for over 20 years and drive by Marhofer Chevrolet at least once a day. It is pretty clear the area needs improvement. Tearing down the old City Building and building CVS was a good start, followed by razing the buildings on the NE corner. The flood from a few years ago did a great job of cleaning out the SE corner. Looking at it now the oil change place is vacant, the pizza shop (great pizza) looks shabby Marhofer Chevrolet looks outdated crowded and drab. Yukon Rd. needs work and frankly some houses on Thorndale are not looking good either. I think there are at least a couple vacant homes and a realtor friend told me one house is in foreclosure. It might be interesting to look at the property tax records and see how much tax income is currently coming from the proposed development area. I am thinking the best plan would be to clean up the area and let Marhofer enjoy a new lease on life --- and new opportunities to continue the “give back” the family has done for so many years. Keeping the area the same seems like a real step backwards.
jiim may September 19, 2012 at 12:27 AM
Well said mike barns on both accounts. Great pizza and great idea to expand and grow
Carol Tymchenko September 19, 2012 at 12:34 AM
Mike, so you're saying that since the homes on Thorndale, in your opinion "are not looking good", and we pay less property taxes than you might, our rights on Thorndale don't count? That's a good reason in your mind to amend city rules? I am a realtor also, and there are vacant and foreclosed homes throughout our city. At the planning meetings, Marhofer could not guarantee this expansion would create more jobs. And his new building is not giving him any additional square footage, just a prettier building. I would like to see your reaction when the city gives a company permission to take over half of your street. There are so many vacant commercial properties within our city that would fit his needs, however, more costly than paying off a few homeowner's. The city has restrictions in place for a reason. It's "rich man vs poor man" and "you can't fight city hall". We will not give up our street without a fight. Even though we may be fighting a loosing battle. We are trying to protect our homesteads, our investment we have worked very hard for (although don't look nice enough to you). We have children that play on our street. It's a neighborhood. We don't want an auto mile and neither would you.
Carol Tymchenko September 19, 2012 at 12:37 AM
Well said.
Carol Tymchenko September 19, 2012 at 12:39 AM
Thank you Teresa. A person with compassion for the little people:)
Carol Tymchenko September 19, 2012 at 01:00 AM
For more information regarding Marhofer's request, go to this website.... It has architectural plans you can also view. https://www.facebook.com/groups/savethorndale/
Sort through the Facts September 19, 2012 at 01:18 AM
Isn't General Motors requiring this of Marhofer in order to maintain his franchise? I saw this on the facebook page Support Ron Marhofer Redevelopment in Stow. It's not a choice of rich vs. poor; it's a matter of supporting a longtime community business that the city relies on so that the city doesn't become poor. That's in the best interest of ALL residents regardless of income level.
jiim may September 19, 2012 at 01:35 AM
Applaud applaud
Carol Tymchenko September 19, 2012 at 01:49 AM
They are requiring him to spruce it up. If he needs more room, there are multiple vacant commercial properties. Comments from Anonymous "Sort Through Facts'....why are you such a coward to not show your name. Your comments are irrelevant as a faceless contributor.
Sort through the Facts September 19, 2012 at 01:54 AM
But you answer my comments because they are valid. :-)
jiim may September 19, 2012 at 02:07 AM
Carol, dont be a hater
jiim may September 19, 2012 at 02:14 AM
Bring in the dozers!!!!!!
David Barnewall September 19, 2012 at 02:19 AM
No one seems to know all the facts unless you are directly involved! Most of the residents such as myself want marhofer to stay and thrive. We don't want our neighborhood to be sacrificed for that to happen. Marhofer chose taking homes in a nice quiet older neighborhood with trees that block all the sound and light over all other options. He did approach the businesses on Kent road with low ball purchase offers and I'm assuming it would be cheaper to take a few homes instead. Everyone involved on the citys side seems to be afraid that marhofer will leave if he doesn't get everything he wants. If Ron is such a great guy and so good to the city then where is his compromise? Not once has he tried to get our input as what we would like as planning commision suggested or a plan b
jiim may September 19, 2012 at 02:36 AM
You people kill me, instead of wasting time on here you should be talking to the city. Wow, everyone itching,ithcing and itching (insert b) on a site that has 0 effect on anything. P.S. Tick tick times awaisting, i hear the dozers!!!!
David Barnewall September 19, 2012 at 02:39 AM
S. Martin September 19, 2012 at 09:05 AM
Congratulations to jiim may for finding a voice on stowpatch.com, next stop Newsweek!!!!
jiim may September 19, 2012 at 11:33 AM
Dont be a hater
jiim may September 19, 2012 at 02:44 PM
Martin, you sure added some informative and intelligent info. Thanks
joe ponikarovsky September 19, 2012 at 06:58 PM
so...didn't marhofer go out of business a few years back? or was on the verge of it? (one of the dealerships that GM wanted to/did close, from my understanding.) anyone ever given any thought to what would happen if they actually did close, after this expansion? we'd have this HUGE parking lot right in the middle of stow sitting vacant. another eyesore just like the plaza down the road (the big lots/macy's plaza, whatever it's called). maybe they should just go take over that plaza, level it and build their business there if they need so much space.
Ed Fisher September 19, 2012 at 10:03 PM
Let's see..........Marhofer has been here almost 100 years. And now, they want to invest dollars in an expansion. And you're worried that they're going to go out of business ? Based on what ? Do you know how ludicrous that sounds ? One of the reasons that GM pulled their Chevy franchise was due to the small, antiquated facility. Even though their sales were the highest in the area. So now they want to grow in a town that petitioned GM for their re-instatement. This controversy just amazes me, really.
David Barnewall September 19, 2012 at 10:41 PM
We want them to grow, but not into one of the first residential neighborhoods of stow. He could expand along Kent road which would give him more exposure anyway, but for some reason he chose to take a different option and go up a back street and change one the original stow neighborhoods
jiim may September 20, 2012 at 01:49 AM
Amazes me also
jiim may September 21, 2012 at 03:09 AM
@ ed, thanks you just proved my point and basically called him a moron. Good job
Carol Tymchenko September 22, 2012 at 09:43 PM
We have reason to believe that "Sort Through the Facts" is one of the Thorndale residents under contract to sell their home to Marhofer.
jiim may September 24, 2012 at 01:22 AM
Have to spend money to make money, bozo
jiim may September 24, 2012 at 01:24 AM
I hear the dozers approaching, down come the homes


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