The Clark County Commissioners reopened a discussion continued from August 2, 2017 on a rezoning request filled by Jason Horowitz to rezone a one acre parcel currently zone R-1 Residence and a one acre parcel currently zoned B-2 Community Business to B-1 Neighborhood Business. The proposed rezoning would then combine the two parcels into a two-acre parcel located at 5550 West National Road for the purposes of establishing a retail store at that location. The commissioners approved the rezoning in a two to one vote with Commissioner Richard Lohnes voting against the rezoning.
According to Senior Planner Alan Neimayer, several parcels in the area are already zoned business. He also pointed out that no rezoning is required to establish a retail business at that location. He added that the prospective buyers of the combined parcels plan to remove the eight dilapidated trailers and the two existing structures to build a new facility. The current plan calls for access to the proposed retail establishment from N. Tecumseh Road.
In addition, the parcels use a community sewer system. The Rural Zoning Commission and the County Planning Commission recommended the rezoning with the following conditions: approval from the Ohio EPA to determine the environment impact of the proposed development, approval from the County Engineer’s department of appropriate storm water drainage and the replat of the Tecumseh Subdivision.
Lawyer Bob Gage from GPT Realty represented the applicant. He said “We want to downgrade the property from B-2 to B-1 for one parcel and upgrade the other from R-1 to B-1 one. The resulting lot makes the development cleaner for all of us.” He also pointed out, “If necessary we can develop the store on the existing one acre lot. The establishment will be 9100 square feet with 36 parking places,”
He added, “This is preliminary plan. We must go through ODOT to determine the final placement of the driveway. The proposed driveway is 36 feet as opposed to the 24 feet required to accommodate trucks entering and leaving the store.”
Gage estimated that Dollar General typically serves 10 cars per hour all day. The hours of operation would be from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Sunday. He said, “Our stores don’t generate traffic. They capture the existing traffic." Gage anticipates the store to employ 10 people. In addition, he said the company only makes one semi delivery per week usually on Mondays; however, there would be smaller box truck deliveries throughout the week.
Gage also assured those present that the company screens the dumpsters from residents with a 10-foot fence and plan to erect a six-foot privacy fence west and north of the location.
Commissioner Melanie Flax-Wilt asked “Other than privacy to you typically provide aesthetic landscaping?” Gage reassured them that the company would adhere to any landscaping requirements from the community.
Commissioner Lowell McGlothin pointed out that the location was the site of historic Fort Tecumseh. He said “the kids in the area bought a lot of candy from Fort Tecumseh. Is it possible to acknowledge that history?” Gage said the store would be happy to honor that request.
When the floor was asked for opinions in opposition to the rezoning, several residents asked to speak.
Resident Danielle Robinson expressed her concerns. “The residents’ primary concern is increased foot and vehicle traffic at the high-volume intersection. A man was struck and killed by a car on N. Tecumseh Road last year.” Robinson continues saying that “the store will increase crime in our quiet neighborhood. A store on Gettysburg in West Dayton was robbed at gunpoint. I am also concerned about flooding and pollution in the area because of increased asphalt, motor vehicles.”
In addition, Robinson surveyed 15 people and 8 families in Donnelsville as to whether they wanted the Dollar General Store. No one that she talked to wanted the store. She also pointed out there are 11 Dollar General stores within 10 miles of the proposed location and 34 stores within 20 miles.
Donnelsville Police Chief Doug Frank said that he was disappointed that the prospective buyer did not provide a complete set of plans.
However, Lohnes pointed out that a complete set of plans is not required for rezoning. Lohnes said that “the complete plans cost lots of money and no company wants to invest that kind of money in plans until after the zoning is in place.”
Resident Angela Morris, a former bus driver expressed her concerns about the narrowness of Tecumseh Road. She said “the intersection of US 40 and N Tecumseh is very dangerous. It is scary to ride along the road. We are trying to save kids.”
Additional concerns included the speed limit on the road and concern for current residents in the trailers at that location.
McGlothin pointed out that the corner needs to be cleaned up. He said “it is a blight on the neighborhood.”
Flax-Wilt added that currently no one is living in the trailers that are to be removed.
After the arguments against the rezoning, Gage noted that it is illegal to regulate competition. “All we are doing is rezoning here.”
Flax-Wilt proposed a resolution in support of the rezoning, but added an additional requirement to the second condition that a traffic study be required. McGlothin seconded the resolution. When the vote was taken McGlothin and Flax-Wilt voted to rezone the property and Lohnes voted against it.
The commissioners also conducted a second hearing from Timothy Wiskerchen to rezone 1.35 acres at 5785 Springfield-Xenia Road from B-3 General Business to B-4 Heavy Business for a self-storage facility. Neimayer reported that the property is currently located in a Business Zoning District. Wiskerchen plans to put erect screening on the southern edge of the property. The rezoning passed unanimously.