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Texting while driving becomes primary offense June 14 in Avon

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Avon City Council voted unanimously to approve an ordinance that would make texting while driving a primary offense during its regular meeting Monday. They also voted to approve plans for the final phase of the Avondale Subdivision, after hearing comments from the public on the condition of some Ryan Home properties’ driveways only six months after being poured

In an effort to curb the number of crashes in the city, Council voted to adopt Ordinance No. 29-18, which would allow officers to ticket those texting while driving as a primary offense. Texting while driving was made a secondary offense in 2012 by the state legislature, but Avon is the first community in the area to pass legislation making it a primary offense. As a secondary offense, police can only cite drivers with texting while driving if they are pulled over for another offense, like speeding or running a stop sign.

“I commend Council for passing that tonight,” Mayor Bryan Jensen said. “I don’t think it’s going to be the cure-all or be-all anything, but it gives our police officers another tool that allows us to bring it to the attention of maybe the students, which I think we’re all concerned about, because they’ve got a lot of things that they’re already distracted anyway with.”

The ordinance will go into affect 30 days from its signing June 14. Signs reportedly have been ordered to notify motorists of the new law.

Avondale Subdivision

Also passed unanimously were plans for the final plat of the Avondale Subdivision, which would add around a dozen homes to the development. But before Council could vote, several residents of Avondale along Fairview Drive expressed concern at the craftsmanship of Ryan Homes — the construction company handling the homebuilding, including pouring residents’ driveways.

Residents said in the six months since their driveways have been poured, several along the street are cracked and flaking. They reportedly contacted Ryan Homes, as the work is under warranty, but the homebuilder blamed the damage on the de-icer used by the city during the winter, and residents’ failure to seal the concrete.

Jonathan Clark, of Fairview Drive, showed Council members pictures of the damage to his driveway, along with the Better Business Bureau complaint he made.

“The big picture is we’re just asking Ryan to back what they built,” Clark said. “Your driveway, if it’s poured in August, come May it shouldn’t be (faulty), it’s really that simple.”

Nathan Kufel, also of Fairview Drive, agreed with Clark, asking Council what type of perception they want for the city as a driveway is the first thing people notice when pulling into someone’s lot.

Kufel said while the subdivision has moved through its phases, the problems from phase one have yet to be fixed. He said he saved for eight years to get the home he has, and based his decision off the quality materials used in the model home — only to have to replace flooring and windows in his as the quality wasn’t as good.

Mayor Jensen said Council would look into the work Ryan Homes had done, as he did not agree that the damage was caused by the city’s de-icer, because there was not damage to every driveway in the development. Ward I Councilman Bob Butkowski will be facilitating a meeting between area residents, contractors and builders and said it is not the first time they have called Ryan Homes on issues in their building practices.

“(Ryan Homes Vice President Tom Sear) wants to have a meeting with all of you residents, bring in the concrete contractors, as well as some of the tradesman that actually put that concrete in place,” Butkowski said. “I want to be the facilitator to do that, I’m not actually in a position to push one way or the other.”

Jim Rumbaugh, president of The Meritage Group, which is the developer for Avondale, asked Council to pass the ordinance and allow for the final phase of the development, as his company is not Ryan Homes and the residents’ problems are not with Meritage Group.

Contact Carissa Woytach at 440-329-7245 or cwoytach@chroniclet.com.


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