Lordstown council to ask TJX to consider cul-de-sac

Road issue could delay plans for the distribution center

LORDSTOWN — A road issue may delay plans for a HomeGoods distribution center that is expected to bring 1,000 new jobs to the village over the next several years.

Village council Monday approved a letter asking TJX officials to reconsider changing a section of Hallock Young Road in their site plans from a through road to a cul-de-sac near the western side of the planned warehouse.

Mayor Arno Hill broke a 3-3 tie to send the letter.

Some council members, as well as Hallock Young residents, said during Monday’s meeting they want to have Hallock Young Road end in a cul-de-sac. They were concerned about increased traffic spilling onto and from Ellsworth Bailey Road if Hallock Young was a thoroughfare per the current TJX plan.

Hallock Young now runs in a straight line from Lyntz Townline Road east to Ellsworth Bailey, but the plans by TJX had called for Hallock Young to dip southward around the warehouse, then intersecting with Ellsworth Bailey.

“The residents and department heads are concerned with safety with more truck traffic pulling in and out from Ellsworth Bailey Road. There is concern with large trucks exiting onto a four-lane highway,” Hill said.

Voting in favor of the cul-de-sac plan were councilmen Ron Ratka, Donald Reider and Howard Sheely, while Robert Bond, Karen Jones and Lamar Liming all voted against it.

Ratka, who previously could not vote because his former property was in contract negotiations to be sold to TJX, casted a vote because the land sale had since closed.

The village’s fire chief, police chief, road supervisor and village engineer all said a cul-de-sac would create a safer situation.

In January, the village planning commission had recommended a Hallock Young cul-de-sac after hearing from residents who favored that setup. However, Jones, Bond and Liming had voted for a through roadway, and Ratka was prohibited from voting, which made it a 3-2 vote for the through road.

Hill said they will wait to hear a response from TJX officials. If TJX agrees to a change, an amended site plan would have to be brought before the village planning commission and then back to council for a vote, Solicitor Paul Dutton said. This would cause a delay in the start of construction. Original plans had the warehouse being finished by 2020.

Bob Shaffer of the planning commission said revisiting the cul-de-sac issue “would be nothing new since it has been addressed before.”

Resident Carla Click, a resident of Hallock Young Road, told council she and other neighbors spoke to TJX officials about the matter, and she said they would agree to a cul-de-sac plan.

“The cul-de-sac would be a safer alternative then a through road,” Click said.

Former Mayor Michael Chaffee, who lives on Hallock Young Road said he’s in favor of a cul-de-sac.

“If you live on a cul-de-sac, you know who is likely to be there,” Chaffee said.