|Rezoning in Grand Rapids may make way for Dollar General|
|Written by JORDAN CRAVENS Sentinel Staff Writer|
|Wednesday, 30 October 2013 09:38|
GRAND RAPIDS - Forty-five dollars and three cents.
That's the amount of money village resident Donna Heckler spent in a neighboring town at a grocery store during her last trip. It's money she would have preferred to spend in her hometown.
On Monday, Heckler was among those who crowded into village council chambers to voice their opinions on whether zoning on a 1.34-acre of land on Wapakoneta Road should be changed from agricultural to commercial. The zoning change is to clear the way for potential construction of a new Dollar General store in town.
"As many of us are getting older, it's just almost impossible to go to the bigger stores," she said.
"It would definitely save a lot of the seniors a lot of walking," she said.
Heckler, her receipt in hand, then listed off her grocery bill.
"I spent $45.03 that could have been spent in Grand Rapids instead," she said.
"I am thankful for the Marathon (gas station in town), but as you can see there are a lot of things on the list I can't get at the Marathon," she said.
Other village residents, like Kathy and Brent Bomer, were against the zoning change.
The Bomers have lived next door to the proposed site for 25 years.
"I hope you all know you six people are in charge of my quality of life," Kathy Bomer told council members during the public hearing.
"I just don't think this fits what Grand Rapids looks like," Brent Bomer said.
"We are trying to be a quiet, quaint canal town," he said.
The Bomers said they aren't against having a Dollar General in town, "We just think there is a better place for it," Kathy Bomer said. "There is enough commercial property not being used now."
"If they think this is a good enough business proposal, they will come back and look at another property in town," her husband said.
Following the public hearing, council held its regular meeting where members voted unanimously to amend the zoning from agricultural to commercial.
Before voting, council member Carolyn Erdody said, "It's for zoning of that property as commercial and not approving or disapproving a Dollar General store."
The vote on Monday was strictly related to rezoning. However, Dollar General has expressed intent to build on the property and re-zoning the land represents a potential step toward its construction.
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