VANDALIA — The Vandalia City Council will give consideration to another convenience store/gas station at the corner of Helke and National Roads during its meeting on January 16.
Casey’s Marketing Company, based in Ankeny, Iowa, is proposing to build a Casey’s General Store and at the site. Casey’s currently operates over 1,900 stores in 15 Midwestern states. The company says it is just beginning its expansion into Ohio as its easternmost state.
In order to proceed, the project requires two variances – one which requires a gasoline station to be at least 500 feet from any other gasoline station on the same side of the street, and another that prohibits a gasoline station from being closer than 200 feet to a residential zoning district.
The Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) denied the variance requests on December 13.
Some residents near the site are opposed to the project, however.
Joyce Orange, a resident on Koch Avenue which runs behind the property, said she was concerned that there were already five gas stations within one mile of the site. Orange spoke during a BZA meeting on December 13.
According to draft minutes of that meeting, Orange also expressed concern about landscaping maintenance, trash, gasoline fumes, and other safety issues related to traffic. She also expressed concern about property values decreasing.
Another resident on Koch Avenue, Amy Day, addressed council during its study session on January 2.
Day also expressed concerns about traffic.
“People try to cut through and don’t realize we live on a cul-de-sac,” said Day. “We have children on this street and its just not safe to add more traffic.”
The location of the proposed gas station is directly across Helke Road from the Shell gas station. It once housed the Church of Christ, whose building still stands on the property.
In February 2017 the American Legion was granted a conditional use permit to relocate Post 668 to the site over the objections of residents on Koch Ave. That project eventually fell through due to the unexpected high cost of renovation.
City Council will take up the issue on Tuesday, Feb. 16 at 7 p.m. The meeting is open to the public.
Reach Darrell Wacker at (937) 684-8983 or on Twitter @VandaliaDrummer.