STRONGSVILLE, Ohio - Raising Cane's Chicken Fingers, a national restaurant chain headquartered in Baton Rouge, is one step closer to building its first Greater Cleveland eatery in Strongsville.
Last week, Strongsville City Council, with little discussion, unanimously approved a rezoning that would allow Raising Cane's to build on the northwest corner of Pearl Road and Pierce Drive, just south of Ohio 82.
Raising Cane's, which touts a secret sauce that only store managers know how to make, has more than 300 restaurants across the United States. The closest to Cleveland are in Columbus, although one is planned for Jackson Township.
Raising Cane's bringing its famous chicken fingers and sauce to Strongsville?
The restaurant chain in July proposed a Strongsville location on a vacant lot measuring about 1 acre. The lot was zoned a general business district, which doesn't permit restaurants, so Raising Cane's asked the city to rezone the property to a restaurant-recreational services district.
"Many other parcels along Pearl Road are in (restaurant-recreational) districts with stand-alone restaurants, and surrounded by (general-business) districts," Raising Cane's said on its rezoning application.
In late July, the city's Planning Commission - with no discussion, according to meeting minutes - recommended the rezoning to council.
At an Oct. 16 public hearing, Drew Gatliff, pre-development manager for Raising Cane's, said the restaurant had agreed to provide access to a multi-tenant retail building immediately to the north. That way, Raising Cane's would not eliminate existing access to the retail building from Pierce.
Richard Chalkley, a Pierce resident, said he didn't opposed the restaurant plan but was concerned about additional traffic it would generate. He asked council to place a "No Thru Traffic" or "Local Access Only" sign on Pierce at Pearl.
Chalkley also asked police to increase patrols on Pierce and stop speeders to "protect the kids on the street from idiots," according to meeting minutes.
At last week's council meeting caucus, Councilman Michael Daymut, council's representative to the planning commission, advised council members to "vote your conscience" on the rezoning. He said he knew some on council were concerned about additional retail moving into town.
In Sept. 2016, Councilman Jim Carbone called Strongsville a "concrete jungle" of commercial development. He and Councilman Matt Schonhut sponsored legislation to limit the size of future development, but they received no support from council colleagues....Read more