Clark County commissioners will likely vote this week on the future of a controversial Dollar General proposed at the site of a long-vacant former business site in Bethel Twp.
Commissioners held a public hearing on a request to rezone two acres at 5550 W. National Road earlier this month for the planned retail store. The commission voted unanimously to table the issue because residents said they didn’t receive proper notification of recent hearings.
The store is unnecessary, could create traffic problems and bring more crime to the neighborhood, residents said. A group of residents opposed to the plan are expected to attend the meeting at 10 a.m. Wednesday in the commission office, on the fifth floor of 50 E. Columbia St.
“We don’t want it,” said Bethel Twp. resident Charlotte Fogarty, who lives nearby on U.S. 40. “There are 10 of them around us.”
The rezoning request was made by Jason Horowitz of Nashville-based GBT Realty, who sought to develop a similar store in 2015. He couldn’t be reached for comment on Monday.
This application is the third time a request has been made to put a Dollar General store within three miles of that location on West National Road, Fogarty said. She’s made phone calls to dozens of neighbors who have yet to hear about the proposed store, she said.
PRIOR COVERAGE: Bethel Twp. residents worried about impact of proposed retail
The rezoning for the store planned at the corner of West National and North Tecumseh roads was approved by both the Clark County Planning Commission and the Clark County Rural Zoning Commission in June.
However some residents and property owners who live within 200 feet of the proposed retail store told them they weren’t notified of the meeting held on June 15.
County commissioners sought to have the case reappear at the Rural Zoning Commission in September, but were told by the Clark County Prosecutor’s Office it’s not legal to send the case back because the first hearing had already taken place.
The county sent new notices by certified mail, County Commissioner Rick Lohnes said.
“It’s all we can do,” Lohnes said. “We’re on a time frame. We have to make a decision on Wednesday.”
Lohnes has received a few calls from residents in favor of the new development, he said, and it would also improve the tax base for Tecumseh schools. The store could also be beneficial to nearby residents, Lohnes said.
“If you’re out there at Donnelsville or anywhere else in that area, where do you get something if you forgot to pick up bread or milk at the store?” Lohnes asked.
“It’s one of those tough calls,” he said. “I want to listen to what people have to say. It’s not a very attractive site as it stands right now.”
The Clark County Community and Economic Development Department provides notices of the hearing to property owners who live within 200 feet of the proposal through regular mail.
If approved, the West National Road location would be the 10th Dollar General in Clark County.
The property is currently zoned community business and rural residence district. The proposal would change the zoning to a neighborhood business.
The site is the former Fort Tecumseh Olde Fashun Store, which closed in 2012. There would be no access to the proposed store from U.S. 40.
County staff recommended the rezoning based on several conditions, including:
• Approval from the Ohio EPA that the proposed retail development can utilize the existing community sewer system.
• Approval from the County Engineer’s Department for compliance with storm water regulations.
• Lots being split from the Tecumseh Heights subdivision.
In 2015, the Clark County Board of Zoning Appeals denied a variance request to reduce the frontage requirements on a property and split about 2 acres of land off from a more than 21-acre parcel because the company didn’t have a solution for drainage issues on the property on West National Road.
3 NEWS-SUN MUST READS
The Springfield News-Sun digs into important stories that affect your neighborhoods, including recent stories on a residents fighting to block a mining operation in Mad River Twp.
2: Acres that have been proposed for rezoning to allow a Dollar General store in Bethel Twp.
200 feet: Distance from the proposed rezoning where property owners are notified by mail of the application by the Clark County Community and Economic Development Department
2012: Year the former Fort Tecumseh store closed on the property now proposed for a Dollar General