Springfield commission votes to deny planned conversion of former IHOP location into a gas station

The former IHop location of North Bechtle Avenue. BILL LACKEY/STAFF
The former IHop location of North Bechtle Avenue. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

Springfield city commissioners voted not to approve an ordinance that would allow a former IHOP location on North Bechtle Avenue to be converted into a gas station.

Several commissioners cited concerns regarding the best use for that property as well as the proximity of the proposed gas station to existing ones in the area.

“I am not arguing for another restaurant. I just think having two gas stations that close together does not make sense,” Mayor Warren Copeland said.

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The vote took place during a public meeting Tuesday.

The ordinance would have approved an amendment to an existing development plan for 1.16 acres of property at 2206 North Bechtle Avenue to allow for the construction of an automobile-oriented facility.

The proposed location for the gas station is near the Hobby Lobby, Walmart and Speedway on North Bechtle.

The building that would be converted into a Shell gas station, if the ordinance was approved, was an IHOP before it shuttered in 2019.

That property was sold to 2206 Bechtle LLC from Elliot A. Hayne Trustee for $900,000 in October, according to the Clark County Auditor’s office.

The ordinance related to the property was voted down three to one. Copeland as well as commissioners Joyce Chilton and Rob Rue voted against the ordinance while commissioner Kevin O’Neill voted for it. Commissioner David Estrop was not at the meeting.

Rue stated during the meeting that he believed that the planned gas station would not be the best use for the property. He also stated his concern that it would be located at an entry point to a shopping corridor.

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However, he added that he did not want to discourage the developers from investing in the city and noted he was happy that they were interested in the area.

Those behind the project declined to comment.

However, plans highlighted to commissioners during their public meeting Sept. 28, noted that the goal was to convert the original building at the former IHOP location into a Shell gas station that would offer convenience store services.

Before the vote Tuesday, city staff had recommended denial due to traffic concerns and the belief that the property would be better suited as a restaurant or a small shopping center.

However, in June the board of zoning appeals had approved plans for use as a gas station.

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