Commissioners deny request for vacation of Lakeview Drive section

Ashtabula County Commissioner Casey Kozlowski, center, checks out the scene of a potential road vacation along Lake Erie in Saybrook Township in early February. Commissioners visited with residents, county employees and township representatives to discuss the issue as the road has dropped down a cliff over a lengthy period of time. The road vacation was denied.

JEFFERSON — A section of Lakeview Drive will not be vacated after a vote from the Ashtabula County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday.

Late last year, a property owner filed a petition for the vacation of Lakeview Drive between Morningside and Highland avenues.

The section of road was abandoned in 1990 due to damage from erosion. 

Earlier this year, commissioners viewed the site. A public hearing was held in February where neighborhood residents spoke out against the vacation.

The right of way is still used by residents of Morningside Avenue to access a beach further west on Lakeview drive, and vacating the road will force them to walk along Route 531 to Highland Avenue, they said.

The homeowners who filed for the vacation claimed that the right of way is dangerous and that sections of road have fallen due to erosion.

Commissioners shared the reason for their decision before the vote.

Commissioner J.P. Ducro said his decision was based on a couple factors, including the position of the local government and the opinion of the population at large.

Ducro said he is sympathetic to both parties in this matter.

Kathryn Whittington, president of the commissioners, echoed Ducro’s concerns.

Commissioner Casey Kozlowski had previously expressed a desire to speak on the issue, but could not attend the meeting, Ducro said.

In other business

• Commissioners will have a meeting later this week with State Rep. Sarah Fowler Arthur and State Sen. Sandra O’Brien.

Commissioners were in the process of compiling a list of “topics for the meeting on Tuesday.

Fowler Arthur and O’Brien were both elected in November. Fowler Arthur replaced former State Rep. John Patterson, who did not seek reelection due to term limits. Sandra O’Brien defeated incumbent State Sen. Sean O’Brien for her seat.

• Discussions are ongoing regarding the potential for increased security at the old courthouse.

At a previous work session, commissioners discussed increased security for the building which houses a number of county departments, including the commissioners’ office.

The county received a quote for the work and Whittington suggested some alterations due to cost concerns and uncertainty about final plans for some areas.

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