Bethel Twp. residents speak out against proposed Dollar General

Aug 02, 2017
The old Fort Tecumseh penny candy store at the intersection of U.S. 40 west and Tecumseh Road. Bill Lackey/Staff

A proposed Dollar General store along Ohio 40 could create traffic problems and bring more crime to a Bethel Twp. neighborhood, residents say.

RELATED: Clark County board denies request for Dollar General store

Clark County Commissioners held a public hearing Wednesday on a request to rezone of two acres at 5550 W. National Road for a planned retail store. They voted unanimously to table the issue because residents told commissioners they did not receive proper notification of recent hearings.

“We can re-publicize this and give it our best faith effort,” Commissioner Rick Lohnes said.

The proposed store will decrease property values, increase crime in the neighborhood and cause more accidents at the intersection, said Bethel Twp. resident Charlotte Fogarty, who lives nearby on Ohio 40.

“We do not want it,” she said.

County commissioners may seek to have the case reappear at the Rural Zoning Commission because residents and property owners who live inside 200 feet of the proposed retail store told them they weren’t notified of the meeting held on June 15. The residents will be re-notified of the meeting, but county staff with check with attorneys about the proper way to move forward.

PRIOR COVERAGE: Bethel Twp. residents worried about impact of proposed retail

The rezoning for the store planned at the corner of West National Road and North Tecumseh Road was approved by both the Clark County Planning Commission and the Clark County Rural Zoning Commission in June.

Only two property owners received proper notification of the meeting in June, Fogarty said. 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, said Senior Planner Allan Niemayer. Several other residents told commissioners they did not receive notification.

There were about five to six residents at the Rural Zoning Commission meeting, Niemayer said.

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.

MORE: Clark County board denies request for Dollar General store

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 sanitary sewer system,

• Approval from the County Engineer’s Department for compliance with storm water regulations, and

• lots being split from the Tecumseh Heights subdivision.

The rezoning request was made by Jason Horowitz of Nashville-based GBT Realty, who sought to develop a similar store in 2015. He could not be reached for comment on Wednesday.

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The new development could improve the current site, Commissioner Lowell McGlothin said.

“That corner has been horrendous for a number of years,” McGlothin said.

A traffic study on North Tecumseh Road should be completed, said resident Gary Cox, Sr. He supported the commissioners’ decision to postpone the hearing.

“You’ve got semis coming in and out of there on this property,” Cox, Sr. said.

There would be no access to the proposed store from Ohio 40, Niemayer said.

SOCIAL MEDIA: FOLLOW REPORTER MICHAEL COOPER ON FACEBOOK AND TWITTER.

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.

Two similar requests for a Dollar General store have been rejected in the past several years, Fogarty said.

“Nobody wants it, period, and we won’t shop there, ever,” she said.

“Does everybody in Donnelsville feel the same way?” Lohnes asked.

“Absolutely,” Fogarty said.

The next Rural Zoning Commission meeting will be held on Sept. 14.

If approved, the West National Road location would be the 10th in Clark County and the seventh located in Springfield.

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