VANDALIA – After suffering a 7-0 defeat that he termed a “shellacking” in May, it wouldn’t have been surprising of the developer of a proposed Dunkin Donuts had not returned for its second reading on Monday.
Pat Gilligan did return though, and asked the Vandalia City Council to reconsider its previous vote. Despite his plea, and the plea of the property owners who were selling the site to Gilligan, the council again voted unanimously to deny the project.
Gilligan didn’t go down without making what Council Member Dave Lewis called “compelling arguments.”
“We own and operate Dunkin Donuts in several communities,” said Gilligan. “We are good citizens and want to invest $1.2 million in properties that have been vacant. We want to come to the city, be a good corporate citizen, and increase the tax base. I hope you will reconsider your vote on this and see that Dunkin Donuts is a good development”
Lewis said his motion to deny was based on the same arguments he made at the May 16 meeting. He argued then that the Planned Unit Development (PUD) process should not be used to effectively change the zoning of a property without formally changing it.
“That’s not what the PUD was designed for,” said Lewis after the May 16 council meeting in which the restaurant failed to gain a single vote of support. “If someone wants that use for a property then they should ask to change the zoning, not use the PUD. That’s the wrong way to do it and not what the PUD was designed for.”
Carolyn Winemiller, who owns the property at 34 E. National Road, which would have been sold to Gilligan, wrote a letter calling the council decision “arbitrary and capricious.”
“The property at 34 E. National Road is surrounded by commercial uses, including Domino’s, Goodyear, and Rite Aid,” she wrote. “It is interesting to note that Domino’s, Good Year, and Rite Aid have been permitted in the OS (Office Service Zoning District.”
She pointed out that none of the businesses mentioned had been forced to have the property rezoned in order to build.
Winemiller finished by saying her property was vacant and had been on the market for over a year.
“It needs to be repurposed (sic)as there has been no interest in it for office services especially now that it is surrounded by commercial uses which are inconsistent with use for office services.”
The project would appear to be dead at this point unless Gilligan comes back with a new proposal or chooses to take the city to court. Gilligan was not available for comment after the meeting.
Reach Darrell Wacker at 937-684-8983 or on Twitter @VandaliaDrummer.