Clark County board denies request for Dollar General store

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The Springfield News-Sun digs into important stories that affect your neighborhoods, including recent stories on retail expansions on North Bechtle Avenue.

The Clark County Board of Zoning Appeals recently denied a variance request for a company that wants to build a Dollar General store in Bethel Twp.

The board denied the request by GBT Realty 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, said Allan Neimayer, senior planner for the Clark County Community Development Department.

GBT still has an application to rezone the 2 acres from agricultural to a neighborhood business to make way for the construction of a store, but Neimayer said its unknown if the company plans to withdraw that application since the variance was denied.

“At this point it will be up to the applicant as to how they want to proceed,” he said.

Dozens of Bethel Twp. residents opposed plans to make changes to the property to make way for a Dollar General store along West National Road.

One of the most vocal was Collin Gierke, a West National Road resident who said he and other residents don’t want a Dollar General in their neighborhood, and worry the store would cause drainage issues and increased traffic and crashes.

“I don’t want it there because it’s right next door to me. We’re out in the county and all of a sudden you’ve got a Dollar General right next to you,” said Gierke, who has lived along the road for nearly 16 years.

Jim Suver, who also lives on West National Road, said he’s pleased the zoning appeals board denied the variance.

Suver lives two houses down from the property where GBT wants to build the Dollar General.

“(Dollar General stores) are all over the place. I ride a motorcycle and I’ve riden all over southern Ohio and every time you turn around there’s one of those stores. I mean they’re just sticking them everywhere. They’re in Springfield. They’re in Enon. They don’t need any more of them,” Suver said.

The residents who live along the road moved to that part of county, he said, so they wouldn’t have to live next to a store.

Jason Horowitz of GBT Realty confirmed in July tentative plans for a 9,100-square-foot retail store at the site, but said he couldn’t comment on additional details because the project was preliminary and the company was still trying to obtain the necessary permits.

GBT Realty officials didn’t attend the board of zoning appeals meeting last week and didn’t return calls from the Springfield News-Sun seeking comment.