Costco plan approved

Plans for the new Costco
store building site.

PERRYSBURG – Costco’s final site plan was approved by the Planning Commission Thursday, but construction
on the store likely won’t start until next spring.
The commission approved the plan 5-1, with Greg Bade voting no and Byron Choka absent from the meeting.
Bade, who voted against the preliminary site plan in November, said he was still against the project
because of traffic problems near the site at Ohio 25 and Eckel Junction Road.
"It’s just a congested area already," he said.
Approval was made with five conditions related to sidewalks, parking and landscaping elements as well as
aspects of an on-site fuel station. Among the conditions, Costco must obtain further approval before the
fuel station could be expanded with additional pumps to the west.
Negotiations between Costco and Columbia Gas Transmission, which owns an easement over a high-pressure
gas line running diagonally through the property, have delayed the process several months. A final
agreement has not yet been reached between the two companies, and relocation would still need to be
approved by state and federal agencies.
Relocation could either be done in conjunction with Costco’s work on the site, or after construction,
which would involve placing tubes in the ground to reserve space for pipe to be added later.
A $2.2 million series of road improvements to the intersection at Eckel Junction Road and Ohio 25 should
be complete by December, before the store’s new building schedule will begin. Construction likely won’t
begin until next spring, with an anticipated opening in late summer or fall of 2015.
After casting his vote in support of the final site plan approval, Mayor Mike Olmstead praised the
process that allowed the city to ask for adjustments to the original plan. He acknowledged that his
administration will still have a role in making sure those adjustments are incorporated as final
construction drawings are produced.
"This is yet one more step towards the deal, and I think, from the city’s standpoint, we’ve done
what we’re supposed to do," Olmstead said.
"Now it becomes an administrative issue in carrying out the wishes of the Planning Commission and
what (city) council approved the other night and making sure that is adhered to."
Now that the final site plan has been approved and city council granted a special-approval use for the
project, only a few obstacles remain in addition to the pipeline concerns – a signage variance from the
Board of Zoning Appeals and the city’s OK on construction drawings that will show more detail on traffic
lanes and curb cuts than the site plan currently does.
Approved by city council 4-2 Tuesday after Olmstead broke a 3-3 tie on approval with a list of
conditions, the special-approval use is required of retail stores larger than 60,000 square-feet.
Costco’s plan is for a 154,000-square-foot store.