Meijer tries to salvage plan for Springboro store


Meijer tries to salvage plan for Springboro store

Meijer representatives are expected to meet with Springboro’s planning consultant to work out differences over the company’s plans to build a 157,352-square-foot store on 83 acres on Ohio 73, east of Interstate 75.

Following Wednesday’s meeting with the Springboro Planning Commission, Lanie Weiss, an engineer managing the project for the Michigan-based retailer, said the company would meet again with Planning Consultant Dan Boron.

The commission and residents said the store was too big for the 83-acre location proposed on Ohio 73, east of Interstate 75.

“At the conclusion of the meeting, they were directed to coordinate with me,” Boron said this morning.

As of noon, there had been no contacts with the company, Boron said.

Meijer would need to meet in coming weeks to get on the agenda for the next work session in March.

Meijer officials could not be immediately reached for comment.

The retailer also proposed to develop a gasoline service station and convenience store, four retail outlots and a single-family residential development on the city’s main east-west route.

“That’s more than twice what our land-use plan permits,” said Becky Iverson, a council member and chair of the commission, during Wednesday’s meeting.

Weiss said the company had reduced the store size from 193,000 square feet, the size of stores in Middletown and Kettering.

They offered a range of reasons why the city could set aside the size limit in the city’s land-use plan, ranging from the services the development would bring to the connections the parks and city’s trail network.

“Is it possible? Is it something the city wants?” asked Weiss.

But staff, commissioners and residents said the store was too big.

“This is my town. I really don’t want this to grow this big,” Beverly Dean said.

Boron said the city’s plan permitted larger stores west of Clearcreek-Franklin Road and closer to the I-75 corridor.

Weiss said Meijer had looked at other sites.

“We’re trying to get it to a point you’re comfortable,” Weiss said. “Meijer wants to be where they are wanted.”

After Meijer resolved to meet with staff to search for a compromise, a succession of residents stepped to the microphone. Most voiced their opposition, in some cases while admitting they liked to shop at Meijer.

Traffic was a key concern on Ohio 73 (Central Avenue) in Springboro, as well as on Clearcreek-Franklin Road, which runs along the west side of the property.

Meijer delayed presentation of its plan originally scheduled for last month and held a private meeting to answer resident concerns.

But the store size was the deal breaker on Wednesday.

“It just doesn’t fit there,” resident Earl Jones said.

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