STRONGSVILLE, Ohio — An auto repair shop that has been in business for about four years in Strongsville plans to move from the downtown east side of town to the south end.
Chieffalo’s Auto Repair, now at the northwest corner of Ohio 82 and West 130th Street, received approval in September from the Strongsville Planning Commission to build a new shop on Pearl Road between Drake and Boston roads .
“I’m renting out my current building and thought it would be best to own the property and own my own building,” Sam Chieffalo, owner of Chieffalo’s Auto Repair, told cleveland.com on Monday (October 24). .
“Also, Pearl is a better location and it’s less than a mile from where I live,” Chieffalo said.
Chieffalo said he hopes to begin construction on the new repair shop within the next two to three months and open in March. He said clearing will start soon.
According to the Cuyahoga County Tax Office, Chieffalo’s Properties LLC, a limited liability company, purchased the vacant lot from Pearl in June for $105,000. The lot, on the west side of Pearl, just south of Ellsworth Drive, is approximately 1 1/3 acres.
Chieffalo needed and received a conditional use permit from the planning commission to build the new store. The Pearl lot is in a business headquarters, where auto repair businesses are only allowed on a case-by-case basis.
In addition, the city’s Zoning and Building Appeals Board approved a zoning variance for Chieffalo. City code requires a lot width of at least 150 feet, but the council allowed a lot 96 feet wide in this case.
At a September 21 zoning board meeting, council member Ken Evans said the Chieffalo lot, along with other parcels along Pearl, existed before the city changed the minimum lot width. at 150 feet.
“This council granted waivers (for the Pearl lots) because otherwise people couldn’t use the property,” Evans said, according to meeting transcripts.
A long process
Chieffalo originally presented his relocation plan to the Strongsville Architectural Review Board in July 2021. At that time, he was seeking approval for a sign on the new building.
Chieffalo told the ARB it has gained more than 1,200 customers since opening at Ohio 82 and West 130th. It also rents U-Haul trucks from the site, although this is not happening at its new Pearl location.
Chieffalo said he lives in Strongsville and his wife also operates a business in the town.
“I like it here and I like this place (Pearl) much better,” Chieffalo told ARB, according to meeting transcripts. “It kind of puts me in the heart of Strongsville and many homes in that neighborhood to obviously improve my business. I’d be next to (Sgt. Clean) Car Wash (and) those kind of benefits for both of us.
At the September 21 BZA meeting, board member John Rusnov asked, “And you’re not going to put big spotlights shining in everybody’s windows and you’re not going to have 43 dozen people working there?”
“There are two of us,” Chieffalo replied.
Nevertheless, Pearl resident John Talan objected to Chieffalo’s plan, pointing out that it did not meet the 150-foot lot width requirement.
Additionally, Dale Levy — president of the owners’ association of the Woodside Crossing residential development northwest of Pearl of the Chieffalo plot — said he was concerned about how noise from the auto repair shop would affect residents of Woodside Crossing.
“We came here for the peace and quiet, and it’s quickly turning into an industrial area,” Levy told BZA. “We certainly don’t want to impede Mr. Chieffalo’s ability to grow his business and relocate his business, (and) we appreciate the city’s efforts to get businesses to strengthen our tax base.”
Levy said residents of Woodside Crossing did not believe Sgt. Clean Car Wash was going to be noisy, but with the car wash’s 26 vacuum hoses about 20 feet from some backyards, it was.
Matt Parnell, Chieffalo’s construction contractor, said the car wash blocks Chieffalo’s Pearl site from Woodside Crossing, so noise from the auto repair shop shouldn’t be an issue.
Also, the number of cars entering the Chieffalo location on Pearl will be nowhere near the number of cars going through the car wash, Parnell said.
“I don’t think they (residents) are concerned about the number of cars,” Strongsville deputy legal director Dan Kolick told Parnell. “They’re worried about the bay doors being left open while you’re working on cars.”
Parnell said Chieffalo’s at its current location is not excessively noisy, adding that power tool noise is unlikely to exceed car wash noise.
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