Part One: https://oheragain.wordpress.com/2021/11/29/letter-to-the-civil-service-commission-part-1/
Part Two : https://oheragain.wordpress.com/2021/11/29/letter-to-lorain-civil-service-commission-pt-2/
DeLuca’s Half Way house Zoning / Giardini and Lucas Developers
The story of the Deluca’s debacle broke on June 3rd 2021
Since then there has been a lot of political spin and blame put on this situation but in my opinion NOT where it should be put squarely on the person that did not do due diligence in this capacity of the Director of Building planning and Housing. Max Upton and his staff.
DELUCAS PLACE IN THE PARK TO BECOME A HALF WAY HOUSE
Former DeLuca’s Place could see new use as halfway house | Chronicle Telegram
I agree with you, you don’t want to have a peaceful neighborhood disturbed because you’re bringing in people that have a propensity to commit crimes,” Bradley said. “
But on the other side of the coin, we want to make sure that people that are coming back to the community aren’t just set loose into the community without any assistance or help.”
Planning Commission members approved the required rezoning for the space, which will move to City Council for consideration. Bradley abstained.
THIS misadventure of turmoil to those going to be affected by the decision without due diligence of that Zoning Board and Drew Crawford( of the daily logs on Kellie Glenn) the Neighborhood Development Specialist to now Planning and Zoning Administrator caused citizens of another community to be outraged.
Residents come in force against rezoning for halfway house in Lorain | Chronicle Telegram
Giardini said it had appeared the city was not keen on having the facility right downtown, especially near the former St. Joseph’s site due to other potential projects. DeLuca’s appears to be a better fit.
On Monday, dozens of Lorain residents, alongside those from Elyria Township, packed Council Chambers and commented on the issue for more than three hours — the vast majority coming out against the proposed rezoning.
I attended the residents meeting called by Mary Springowski, Council at large, Head of the Buildings and Lands. This is another example or lack of communication between Bradley Administration, Building Housing and Planning and Lorain City Council. Mrs. Springowski WAS NOT informed of this project either from the Administration or from the Director Building Housing and Planning. June 28th 2021 and had to learn like the rest of her constituents through the media. This is NOT acceptable! Communicating to sitting representatives of the people of Lorain is paramount to good government
It was a shameful example of the “need to know” policy put in place. Mr. Upton attended that meeting as a spectator and was seated behind me with Mr. Washington the Safety Service Director.
Tony Giardini and his partner Joe Lucas only applied for the rezoning of the one parcel on the whole property, the one that was in Lorain, therefore only the property owners that abut that particular parcel – there are two one in Lorain and the parking lot behind the meeting. Had it not been for people in the neighborhood rallying and sending notifications of last night’s meeting those abutting the other parcel would have been none the wiser.
It showed, shock and disbelief in their manner and voices as some had just found out the zoning was passed by Lorain that evening. Can you imagine being out of the loop, aging and living in a quiet neighborhood with children and grandchildren and finding out a “halfway house for convicted “felons” getting out of prison would be transitioning into your neighborhood ? Frightening to so many who were there that evening, they had very little information.
I wanted so many times to jump up and “defend” the residents, they were out of their depth
People were rallying, getting attorneys lined up signed petitions over 200 hundred signatures put their summer on hold to fight Lorain. FOR A CONTINUING QUALITY OF LIFE IN THEIR COMMUNITY THAT WAS NOT LORAIN but being forced to take on Lorain. The animosity felt that evening towards Lorain was understandable, we were the bully!
However, it turns out that once again either Mr. Upton and or Mr. Crawford of Planning and zoning didn’t check the Zoning regulations. . For weeks people were put through and emotional maelstrom for what, the ineptness of a department that only seemingly thrives when they are being manipulative and “fast tracking.
It took a message from another council person, Mitch Fallis to point out the fact the area was zoned incorrectly.
Should a council person have to point out to the Director of Building Planning and Housing (including Zoning) they couldn’t give Mr. Giardini and Mr. Lucas permission to build / remodel the site for that Halfway House.
Halfway house rezoning on hold in Lorain | Chronicle Telegram
Anthony Giardini, co-owner of the former DeLuca’s Place in the Park, said in a text message he rescinded the application to rezone the Middle Ridge property from B-2 to R-3, as it turns out it would need industrial zoning to operate a halfway house.
JTTR Properties LLC purchased the former event center in January for $425,000.
This was once again down to the Building Housing and Planning Dept. Not only did Mr. Giardini and Mr. Lucas spent time effort and a lot of money trying to get the “halfway house “ as it was OK’d by Planning and Zoning with much hoopla once again” but the emotional toll put on residents, and the total waste of time is repugnant.
Why? Because once again the Building Housing and Planning Dept. under Director Upton didn’t do the job they are paid to do and didn’t communicate with council members who could have stated prior to the Zoning Board meeting the change of Zoning would have to be Industrial .
I have finally come to the end of the time lines and documentation for your information. . Believe me if I didn’t feel strongly about the fact the City of Lorain and her way forward in the future I would not have spent the hours putting this epistle together.
I realize this is more of a report than a letter. However, I wanted you to understand that my writing to you to deny Mr. Maximillian Upton the position of Director of Building Housing and Planning , was taken with due care and consideration .
Mr. Upton’s employment with the City of Lorain as an appointed Safety Service Director has, in my considered opinion, shown a side to Mr. Upton as a manipulative, controlling and vindictive personage , lack of leadership by having employees “spy” on their head of department, to what end – in regard to Kellie Glenn whose position he now holds .
A week after the Civil Service Commission meeting of February 18th 2020 Max Upton sent out the following letter to all Department heads.
As the Director of Building Housing and Planning, Mr. Upton, by the documentation alone, did not do due diligence, was again lacking in communication and follow through. As per DeLucas’ Halfway house fiasco of zoning costing, time, money and emotional turmoil.
Upton, has in my opinion, by his lack of ability, arrogance , non-communication with City of Lorain Council and follow through has put this City of Lorain in a great deal of trouble, financially, legally and due to the nature of the site possible toxic repercussions in regard to St. Joseph’s Hospital demolition . I shouldn’t be at all surprised if the bill to the “taxpayers “will be enormous.
The owners owe $528,813.98 in back property taxes, according to records of the Lorain County Auditor’s Office.
In his presentation, Housing Rehabilitation Administrator Greg Landry offered photographs and descriptions about a city inspection earlier this month.
Landry divided the complex into three parts for consideration.
The building at 1800 Livingston Ave. has deteriorating conditions, such as falling ceilings and mold growth.
It appears some areas are filled with items ranging from used fire extinguishers to construction supplies to two snow throwers the city inspectors found inside.
Just south, the vacant area contains rubble from demolition of the main hospital building, where demolition started in November 2020.
Bricks and concrete are piled up to 12 feet high and there is metal rebar sticking out of the ground.
It is a massive amount of material left on site, Landry said.
Exactly what was underground there is unclear, he said.
It appeared there may be some underground basements beneath any areas not a concrete slab, Landry said.
It also appeared some buildings were demolished and the rubble piled into basement areas, said Landry and Safety-Service Director Sanford Washington.
The parking garage has mold, peeling insulation and falling ductwork.
After the meeting, Washington said he expected the city Departments of Law and Building, Housing and Planning would pursue legal action to force cleanup of the site.
Removing all the material will be a massive job, he said.
If the city has to pay for demolition or clearing work, the city staff will pursue ways to recover the money spent, said Max Upton, director of o the Department of Building, Housing and Planning”
And all this on top of an underground spring which goes into the Lake, and Yes! I have been in touch with the EPA on this
I would ask you to remember not only is the City of Lorain made up of the Judicial, the Administrative and Legislative Branches of government , and all the employees that hold positions of trust in this city, BUT the taxpayers are part of the equation . We are the ones that foot the bills for the projects and the mistakes AND I AM WRITING IN THAT CAPACITY.
We cannot afford Mr. Maximillian Upton in the position of Director of Building Housing and Planning and I would ask you to DENY that appointment. I remain:
CC: Pat Riley – Law Director
Members of the Civil Service Commission
Safety Service Director Washington
Members of Lorain City Council