BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – On Tuesday evening, the Boardman Township Zoning Commission denied a zone change that would have allowed the proposed Meijer store to build a gas station across the street.
It sets up another showdown between the commission and Boardman trustees since the trustees overturned a previous commission decision on the Meijer project.
Meijer plans to build a store on the corner of Route 224 and Tippecanoe Road in Boardman.
“We’ll mobilize and break ground next month, probably the middle of February,” said Meijer Real Estate Manager Cris Jones.
He presented that to the zoning commission before asking for another zone change.
Meijer wants two more parcels of land at the corner of Tippecanoe and Lockwood Boulevard changed from business and residential to commercial. The company wants to build a gas station where there are currently two houses and a vacant lot.
“We like to do a gas station with all of our projects,” Jones said.
Meijer originally wanted to build the gas station near the store but a deed restriction forbids a gas station. Meijer officials knew that but the owner of the nearby Shell station refused to change the deed, no matter what kind of money Meijer was offering.
“Please, I’m begging you. Do not allow the commercial creep down into the neighborhood,” said Marilyn Kenner, who lives on Lockwood, which is mostly residential.
Kenner is also Boardman’s road superintendent.
“These people don’t live in Boardman,” she said. “These people don’t even live in Ohio. They don’t care. We live in Boardman. We need to protect our neighborhoods. We need to protect our residents.”
The Boardman Zoning Commission voted unanimously to deny the zone change.
Its major concern was the traffic, possibly even creating a bottleneck between 224 and the Lockwood-Tippecanoe intersection, where a new traffic light will be installed to control traffic in and out of Meijer.
“This gas station they’d like to put in, it just compounds the problem and makes it even worse,” said Zoning Commission Chairman Peter Lymber. “It was a major issue for us.”
The zone change now goes to Boardman trustees, who have the final say.
Lymber is fully aware of that.
“Hate to say this, but Meijer’s has had better luck with the trustees than they’ve had with the zoning commission,” he said.
The zoning commission previously denied Meijer’s request to build its new store at the busy intersection, but trustees overturned that decision.
Jones said he was disappointed with the commission’s ruling but Meijer officials will regroup and continue the process with the trustees.