Casey’s General Store could open next year in Carlisle

This is an illustration of what the proposed Casey's General Store will look like after its construction. The Carlisle Planning Commission approved a conditional use permit and the preliminary site plan for the $4 million project which will have 10 gas pumps in front of the store facing Central Avenue. CONTRIBUTED/VILLAGE OF CARLISLE
This is an illustration of what the proposed Casey's General Store will look like after its construction. The Carlisle Planning Commission approved a conditional use permit and the preliminary site plan for the $4 million project which will have 10 gas pumps in front of the store facing Central Avenue. CONTRIBUTED/VILLAGE OF CARLISLE

A new Casey’s General Store could be in operation in Carlisle sometime in 2022.

The village Planning Commission approved last week a conditional use permit and the preliminary site plan with conditions for the new Casey’s General Store to be located at 767 Central Ave.

About a dozen people attended the meeting Thursday night with some opposition to the project, saying the new $4 million convenience store and gas station was inappropriate for the location next to a residential area and also raised concerns about the possible impact on other gas stations in the village.

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Jonathan Wocher, who presented the proposal to the planning commission, said the company wants to keep trucks off of Lomar Avenue. He said that is why the driveway was shifted further west off Central Avenue.

The site consists of two parcels, one of which is the former Pizza Hotline restaurant at the corner of Central and Lomar avenues. Casey’s is proposing to construct a 4,320-square-foot building facing Central Avenue, which will have 10 gas pumps on five islands under a canopy. Jeffrey Lonchor, another Casey’s representative, said the combined convenience store/gas station typically employs 15 to 18 people.

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Casey’s representatives said the proposed store and gas station would operate from 5 a.m. to 1 a.m.

“This project has some history and we want to be sensitive to the residents,” Wocher said.

This is the second time in three years this project has come before the planning commission.

The controversial plan was denied three years ago by the planning commission, which reached a 3-3 tie vote. At the time there was one vacant planning commission seat. The owners of the property challenged the decision, which was overturned by the Warren County Common Pleas Court last year. However, Casey’s did not act within one year of the decision, so it needed to start the process over again with the planning commission.

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Jerry Ellender, a former village mayor and councilman, owns the house across Lomar Avenue from the proposed Casey’s site. Ellender raised concerns about the lighting of the property and signage, and the runoff of gas and oil into the streets.

“I don’t think it’s an appropriate location next to the historic district by residences,” he said.

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Another resident, Ann Porter, said she was grateful to hear that Casey’s is trying to be sensitive to the adjacent neighborhood. However, she raised concerns about traffic, possible water well contamination, the impact on the character of the neighborhood, and economic impact on current gas stations in Carlisle.

“Casey’s is a nice business, but I wish they would move it further into the business district,” she said.

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One person spoke in favor of the project. Steve Kemper, who works in Xenia, said he believes Casey’s will be good for the village to get food, snacks and fuel. He said he stops in the Casey’s location in Xenia at least once a week.

The next steps for the project is to complete the final development plan and return to the planning commission for approval. Once the project receives the final plan approval, the developer can move forward to acquire the appropriate building permits and begin construction.