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Published: Friday, 3/14/2014 - Updated: 7 months ago

Proposed Costco site main topic of criticism

Residents worry about traffic, property values

BY MATT THOMPSON
BLADE STAFF WRITER
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While negative, the majority of public comments Thursday in the Perrysburg City Council chambers weren’t aimed at Costco but at its proposed location near the southeast corner of State Rt. 25 and Eckel Junction Road.

Larry Small airs his concerns about a proposed Costco store during a public hearing at the Perrysburg Municipal Building. His residence is about 63 feet away from the proposed site. Larry Small airs his concerns about a proposed Costco store during a public hearing at the Perrysburg Municipal Building. His residence is about 63 feet away from the proposed site.
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The public hearing packed the council room with about 70 people and just more than a dozen speaking to the council. While more than 10 were not in favor of Costco at the location, two were.

“I hope you vote as if you live across the street,” said Larry Small of Callander Court, which he said will be 63 feet away from Costco’s east Eckel Junction entrance.

COMMENTARY: Perrysburg wiser than its leaders

Two issues Mr. Small and several residents had was with the special-approval use requirements. One states the business can’t hurt local property values, and the other says it can’t negatively impact traffic. Mr. Small thinks it will negatively affect his property value and said he doesn’t think the “allowable” traffic ratings is good enough.

City council will vote on the special approval use for Costco on March 25 at a special meeting. The special-approval use is required for retail businesses in Perrysburg larger than 60,000-square feet.

The proposed 154,000-square-foot store would have a 16-pump gas station at the Rt. 25 entrance, and a Costco study “assumes” a bank and fast-food restaurant will go between entrances off Eckel Junction Road.

After the special-approval-use is voted on Costco will only need its final site plan approved by the planning commission at a March 27 meeting.

The final site plan shows the existing natural-gas pipeline that runs across the 28-acre site being relocated around the proposed parking lot, instead of under it as it appeared on earlier plans. Costco’s plan shows Columbia Gas Transmission’s gas line, which now runs diagonally across the property, being rerouted to run north of the parking lot in an east-west direction and then in a north-south direction on the east side of the site.

Perrysburg residents look to a large screen as Costco consultant Ted Johnston describes site plans for a new Costco. Perrysburg residents look to a large screen as Costco consultant Ted Johnston describes site plans for a new Costco.
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Ted Johnson, a Costco representative at the meeting, said the rerouted pipeline has been agreed upon with Columbia Gas Transmissions but not the thickness of the parking lot. He also said the rerouting would likely not take place for a few years and the two outlots that could be a bank or restaurant would not be sold until the pipeline is relocated.

Columbia Gas Transmissions said earlier Thursday talks about the pipeline were ongoing and nothing has been decided.

Council President John Kevern asked Mr. Johnson why they picked this site instead of others. Mr. Johnson told him that being off the interstate is valuable and would affect the city less than its cars driving through the city from the interstate to get to it.

“Members will be coming in everyday, and if they can’t get in and out easily, then they won’t come,” Mr. Johnson said. “We’ve done studies. We’re very comfortable with this site.”

Brian Craig, representing Craig Transportation Co., was concerned with traffic and thought the residential property across the street abuts the plan and the special approval use says it shouldn’t. Law Director Mathew Beredo said the condition is for residential zoning R1-R5, not RM as is across the street.

“I think Costco is the best thing that could go here,” Ralph Neopolitan said. “They are good to their employees. I think it would be a good fit for Perrysburg.”

Council member Todd Grayson said the C4 zoning means other businesses could go in the location without the special-approval use that would be worse for the area than Costco.

Local resident Gary Samples, a Costco member, said he loves the store but that its location is incorrect. He said the two outlots need to be done away with because it will be unsightly to the neighborhood and add a lot more traffic.

“This is sensitive,” Mr. Kevern said about the project and the public’s viewpoint. “I think this is the best-case scenario, Costco is first class.”

Contact Matt Thompson at: mthompson@theblade.com, 419-356-8786, or on Twitter at @mthompson25.



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