Store seeks zone change

COLUMBIANA – A residential property on North Main Street could be the site of a new auto parts store, should City Council approve a zone change request there.

Barry Weaver of Dayton-based PASI Inc. said the company is under contract with the property owner for the 1.54-acres at 630 N. Main St. Should the sale be finalized, the property will be owned by PASI and leased to Advance Auto Parts for the new store. PASI is a builder-developer.

Weaver presented the zoning request to the city’s planning commission this week. The property features a single-family home and is in the R-3 high-density residential zoning district. The change would put it in the C-3 central business commercial district.

Commission member Ron LaLonde was somewhat hesitant to forward the request to council until Weaver assured him the greenery nearby would not be leveled.

LaLonde said the “fairly mature trees” on the north side of the property near McDonald’s should be kept intact to “maintain a suitable green site” as opposed to a “stark concrete asphalt corner.”

“Is it the intention of your company to leave those trees in place? Or would everything be leveled?” he asked.

Weaver said the company does not plan to level everything and questioned whether the trees were even part of the residential property.

“I questioned, honestly, whether those trees are even on our property. And of course, if they are not, we won’t do it,” he said.

If the trees are on the property the only change would be at the front to improve visibility, he said.

Bob Belding, the assistant building and zoning inspector, said he would find out which property the trees belong to.

As for the fence that runs parallel to the McDonald’s drive-through, Weaver said the company may ask for it to be removed.

“I don’t know if that is there because of legislation or as a peace-making tool for the next door-neighbor,” he said. “If it’s not there by decree we might ask to remove some, or all, of that fence to improve visibility and open up those sidelines a bit.”

Should the zoning change be approved by council, construction will start July 1 and the store will be operational later this year, he said.

Belding said all neighboring property owners have been notified and a public hearing is set for May 7.