You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.


Welcome to

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

City OKs plan for former school site

Springfield neighborhood would be hurt from retail, office space, residents say.Dollar General wants to open new store on former Simon Kenton site.

A divided city commission approved rezoning the former Simon Kenton school site on East Home Road despite residents who said the development would hurt the neighborhood.

Commissioners voted 3-2 Tuesday night in favor of the Village Greene planned development, a 12.6-acre area at 1221 E. Home Road.

Commissioners Kevin O’Neill, Karen Duncan and Warren Copeland voted in favor, while commissioners Dan Martin and Joyce Chilton voted against the retail and office development, which could include a Dollar General store.

Construction is expected to begin later this year. Building plans will be reviewed in the next few weeks, according to planning and zoning administrator Bryan Heck.

Copeland voted for the issue because he said zoning is about the type of activity designated for a certain location, not the company that locates in the development. The plan is slightly different from the previous plan approved in 2008.

“I agree completely that whenever we deal with zoning, we need to take into account the effect on the neighborhood,” Copeland said. “I think our staff is trying very hard through the buffer requirements to take seriously the concerns of the neighborhood. I know some of you in the neighborhood don’t agree, but I just think we have tried to make this something that can happen without serious damage to the neighborhood.”

Duncan said the buffer zones and the building exterior requirements will make the development “look attractive” from the street. She understood the neighbors complaints and said staff has done everything to address those concerns.

“I think this has a good shot at being a successful endeavor,” Duncan said, “And I think we need to give it a chance.”

Anne Deam, who lives on nearby Olympic Street, told city commissioners that residents expect a certain amount of protection from elected officials about land use.

“It has to be more than jobs and profit,” Deam said. “Once the integrity of the neighborhood has been destroyed, it’s impossible to restore it.”

The planned development will include retail space, office buildings and a residential area. One potential tenant, Dollar General, wants to begin construction later this year and open before the Christmas holiday.

At the July 23 meeting, Jim Peifer, the attorney for developer Mike Hufford of Keith Lynn Associates, asked the commissioners to vote on the rezoning as an emergency ordinance to allow for construction to be completed before the holiday shopping season. However, after a 30-minute public hearing in which several neighbors voiced their complaints about the development, commissioners waited two weeks to decide the issue.

In June, the city planning board recommended approval of the rezoning of the development. It had been rezoned in 2008 but stalled due to the economic recession.

O’Neill said the previous decision in 2008 has cleared the path for other successful planned developments in the city, including the Limestone Center development at the former Roosevelt Middle School site on North Limestone Street.

“We’ve gone the extra mile through our staff to try to deal with some of the concerns that the neighbors have,” O’Neill said.

Martin felt the commercial property discussed at the Village Greene is different than those currently in business at the Roosevelt site. He also felt the addition of approximately 5,000-square-feet in retail space to the project is a “significant change.”

He said this is a situation where the project should conform to the zoning, rather than the other way around.

“The new revised plan seems to have opened up the same concerns for residents,” Martin said. “I’m not prepared to support this tonight.”

The site will have two lots for standalone businesses nearest Home Road, while a shopping center or office building will be located behind those buildings. The four buildings would create more than 59,000 square feet of commercial/office space.

A retail anchor will likely fill the spot at the corner of Derr and Home roads. The plans call for a residential development behind the shopping center. The previous plan called for condominiums.

Another nearby resident, William Brown, said cited the availability of several other similar stores to Dollar General in the area, specifically those on Home Road.

“We really don’t need this,” Brown said.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Community News

5 things to know about Meijer home delivery
5 things to know about Meijer home delivery

Meijer’s home delivery starts today in the Miami Valley, allowing customers to shop for more than 55,000 items online. The service will cover 2,100 square miles including Miamisburg, Middletown, Lebanon, Huber Heights, Englewood, Springfield and Troy, acccording to the company. That’s more than 415,000 houses that can be serviced by Meijer&rsquo...
Clark County Common Pleas Court cases
Clark County Common Pleas Court cases

COMMON PLEAS COURT NEW SUITS 17-CV-0227 - National Collegiate Student Loan Trust 2005-3 v. Leeann N. Demers aka Leeann N. Evans, 5871 South Dr., and Kevin L. Evans, 1600 Groop Road, complaint for $54,633. 17-CV-0228 - Geico Casualty Company v. Brian Lee, South Charleston, complaint for $46,500 for damages and injuries suffered by plaintiff’s...
Booted from a Delta flight? You could get $10,000 as payment
Booted from a Delta flight? You could get $10,000 as payment

Delta is now letting employees offer customers almost $10,000 in compensation if passengers give up their seats on overbooked flights. The decision comes after a disastrous month for United Airlines when a passenger was dragged off of an overbooked flight. The passenger, David Dao, was left bloodied and injured after being forcibly removed. Several...
Discovery of suspicious item in Oklahoma cemetery leads to laughs
Discovery of suspicious item in Oklahoma cemetery leads to laughs

Police in Collinsville got quite the laugh after an officer identified the true nature of what they first believed was a drug drop.  When a local tree service was removing trees at a Collinsville cemetery for a road widening project, crews say they found what looked like a drug drop. >> Read more trending news They say they found a tube...
Man accused of chopping down utility pole
Man accused of chopping down utility pole

A Kentucky man is facing charges after deputies said he chopped down a utility pole near his Graves County home with plans to sell the pole’s transformer back to the power company, according to multiple reports. Authorities arrested Jared Hayes, 40, Tuesday on charges of first-degree criminal mischief and theft by unlawful taking, according to...
More Stories