Costco plan on track despite delays PDF Print E-mail
Written by ALEX ASPACHER Sentinel Staff Writer   
Thursday, 12 December 2013 11:28
The proposed Costco site is southeast of the intersection of Ohio 25 and Eckel Junction Road, just north of Interstate 475. (Image provide by City of Perrysburg)
PERRYSBURG - Officials remain optimistic about bringing Costco to the city despite recent delays to the approval process.
A final site plan expected from Costco was not received by city officials, and a public hearing for a special use permit set for Tuesday has been canceled.
City Administrator Bridgette Kabat said plans remain on track, but the company opted to delay with the matter of a gas line underneath the planned location still to be resolved with the utility company.
"As far as we know, they are still very interested," Kabat said of Costco. "I think they're hopeful, (and) cautiously optimistic. It sounds like they have every intention of moving forward with the project."
A new date has not been set for the public meeting on the special approval use. The city is required to advertise at least 30 days before a public hearing, and Brody Walters, the city's planning and zoning administrator, said it's unlikely anything happens until January or February.
Walters said the main problem to be resolved is between the developer and Columbia Gas Transmission, which owns an easement on the planned location in order to service a 16-inch gas line beneath the property. The status of those negotiations is unknown, but discussions center around placement of parking spots and landscape islands so the line can still be accessed, Walters said.
A complete plan was first expected by the end of last week to allow for final consideration by Planning Commission at its December meeting. That deadline came and went, as did an extension set by Walters for 1 p.m. Wednesday.
After a presentation before Planning Commission last month, the company received approval of its preliminary site plan and garnered a recommendation that city council approve a special use permit, as the 150,000 square-foot building exceeds the retail space limit of 60,000 square feet. Commission members Greg Bade and Byron Choka voted against the approval, with Bade sharing citizens' concerns about traffic at the proposed location, Ohio 25 and Eckel Junction Road.
Approval was given contingent on a handful of changes to the plan, such as installing a northbound sidewalk to Eckel Junction, landscaping that would surround pedestrian walkways, building design elements and the size and number of Costco signs that would appear.
Costco's engineer, Ted Johnson of TJ Design Strategies, said at the November meeting that some requests could threaten the project's viability, but the company appeared to be making adjustments. Johnson said he aimed for December approval to allow the project to move forward in early January.
Walters said he hasn't seen a plan that addresses the northbound sidewalk. He noted that his conditions were recommendations, and it will be up to city council how closely it wants Costco to follow them.
"If city council holds them to the very strict letter of the law, they would need to do that," he said.
Walters said he expects most of city council's debate on the retail space to center around traffic concerns.
Last Updated on Friday, 13 December 2013 10:59

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