Residents voiced their opposition last night to a proposed repair service garage on Croton Avenue in downtown New Castle. Benny Lombardo has applied for a conditional use to operate his business at 420 and 422 Croton Ave., which is in a C-2 commercial district. His business was displaced by the New Castle Area Transit Authority, which is constructing a park-and-ride facility at the corner of Croton Avenue and East Washington Street. At a public hearing conducted by City Council, resident Mary Ellen Jessel said there is not enough parking space for two businesses in that location. A towing service occupies the front portion of the building. Lombardo's will operate in the rear of the building. "There will be cars parked everywhere," she said. There already are flatbed trailers parked there, she said. Susan Sweet, speaking on behalf of Lombardo, said there were auto shops at the location in the past. "We didn't think there was a problem," she said. Rosemary Henderson asked where the flatbeds are going to be parked. Jodi Fornataro, who said she is in the process of buying the building, said that once Lombardo gets his building in shape, "it's not going to look so congested." Once he gets the floor in the building finished so that he can move his equipment, "those trailers will be gone," she said. No objections were voiced to a conditional use request by Cascade Riverplex to extend the outdoor seating and serving area for a jazz and blues bar down to the Neshannock Creek. Also, nobody voiced opposition to a proposed zoning change from R-2 residential to C-1 commercial to allow the relocation of Highland House to an area in the Grant Street area between Highland Avenue and East Street. Highland House, a halfway facility for recovering alcohol and drug-dependent women, and the Greater New Castle Development Corp., which owns the land, have recommended the change.



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