Created on Wednesday, 25 June 2014 Written by NATE SMITH
A decision from the Liberty Township Zoning Commission on whether to permit a Dollar General store to build in a residential zone was tabled again Tuesday as the group waits to hear from personnel from the regional state transportation office.
Bob Gage, vice president of Net Lease Development for GBT Realty Corporation, displays a rendering of a proposed Dollar General store at 6253 U.S. Route 68 during a Tuesday meeting of the Liberty Township Zoning Commission. (EXAMINER PHOTO | NATE SMITH)
The commission voted to reconvene at 7 p.m. July 8 when it intends to bring in a representative from the Ohio Department of Transportation District 7 office in Sidney to discuss possible impact on traffic flow in that area north of the village of West Liberty.
Retailer Dollar General seeks to construct a 9,100 square-foot store at 6253 U.S. Route 68, between Consolidated Care Inc. and South Union Cemetery, and a traffic study conducted by the state department of transportation is standard operating procedure for projects like this, according to Bob Gage, vice president of Net Lease Development for GBT Realty Corporation — the Tennessee-based real estate developer tasked with securing a location, and all required permits.
A house that currently sits at the location would be knocked down in conjunction with the project.
The retail chain has committed about $800,000 to the project, including about $45,000 worth of previously unplanned upgrades to the facade and surrounding landscaping designed to ease residents’ concerns about aesthetics.
For example, Dollar General would plant 25 oak trees along a wooden fence line near the rear of the property.
“(Dollar General) really wants to be here,” Mr. Gage said Tuesday. “They’re making a substantial investment in this location.”
Kenneth Shank, who lives along Township Road 191, and whose property faces the rear of the proposed Dollar General, was not moved by the retailer’s proposals.
“It’s like putting a tattoo on a contestant in the Miss America pageant,” he said, speaking of the negative impact he believes a Dollar General store would have on the area’s aesthetics.
The primary concern now for the zoning commission, however, remains the impact on traffic in the area of U.S. Route 68, especially near Oak Hill Medical Associates and State Route 508.
That area of U.S. 68 sees about 5,900 cars per day, and is considered by residents and the zoning commission as a particularly hazardous stretch of roadway.
Get more coverage of this story in Wednesday's Examiner.