A salon could move to West Erie Avenue in Lorain.
On December 20, Lorain City Council voted in favor of a zoning change for Mona Lisa Eco Spa’Lon, a day spa, which will operate at 1247 W. Erie Ave.
Council had no discussion on the matter at the December 20 meeting, although Ward 1 Councilor Beth Henley and Ward 2 Councilor Rob McFarland dissented in the 9-2 vote.
A week earlier, council members had welcomed landlord Mona Hirst to town during a public hearing about her application.
The zoning will change from R-3 Residential to B-3 Business for the building, which is currently a single family home.
The Lorain town planning commission recommended the zoning change.
Hirst said she hopes to move her business to Lorain.
Neighboring West Erie Avenue owner Joe Smith wrote a letter asking city leaders to reject the change.
Smith argued that there was no space for customer parking.
Ward 6 City Councilor Rey Carrion, Ward 5 City Councilor JoAnne Moon, General Councilor Mitch Fallis, General Councilor Mary Springowski and Ward 1 City Councilor Beth Henley all had questions and comments.
In general, they spoke favorably about the addition of the store in Lorain.
âWelcome Lorain,â Moon said. âYou know, I’m a girl who gets her hair done, so we know what it is. We stay in these stores.
It appeared that spa and salon owners were struggling to bring stylists into stores, so the industry is suffering, Moon said, citing a TV report.
She praised Hirst for the job and said she would approve the zoning change.
Based on the parking space, Fallis asked about the services offered and the number of customers who would visit at a time.
Mona Lisa usually has one client at a time or at most two, Hirst said.
Hirst responded to Smith’s concerns.
Springowksi said having a car or two wouldn’t hurt the area more than a resident having visitors to a house.
The fair will be something unique, attractive and environmentally friendly for the city, she said.
âNatural products are the only way to go, yes,â Hirst said. She acknowledged that the previous tenants used a grassy area to park in the house, but had no intention of doing so.
East Side resident Joanne Zelina asked if Hirst was already operating at a home in Lorain.
Hirst denied this claim because she previously had her salon in Sheffield Lake.
Hirst has the right to have a business anywhere in Lorain, but when people ask for zoning changes neighbors need to be notified, said Zelina, who also spoke at the 20 December.
âWhat I want is for people to know,â she said.
The town of Lorain is not familiar with home-based businesses unless someone brings it to the attention of town officials, Zelina said.
When a landowner requests a zoning change, the city’s zoning code requires the Department of Building, Housing and Planning to immediately notify neighboring landlords across the street and around the site, said Planning and Zoning Administrator Drew Crawford.
Council could add to the legal requirement to notify other nearby landowners, Crawford said.