Property owners fight decision against new gas station at former pizza eatery

Casey’s General Store is a gas station and convenience store that was proposed for the corner of Central Avenue and Lomar Avenue. The proposed project would have replaced the former Pizza Hotline restaurant. CONTRIBUTED
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Casey’s General Store is a gas station and convenience store that was proposed for the corner of Central Avenue and Lomar Avenue. The proposed project would have replaced the former Pizza Hotline restaurant. CONTRIBUTED

The property owners in Carlisle who had planned to sell their property to developers for Casey’s General Store have filed an administrative appeal in Warren County Common Pleas Court challenging the May 3 decision to deny the development by the Carlisle Planning Commission.

Charles and Kim Harris, who own the property at 767 Central Ave. and West Lomar Avenue where the former Pizza Hotline was located, filed an administrative appeal on June 29 to the county common pleas court seeking a reversal of the denial for a conditional use application that they sought from the village Planning Commission at the May 3 hearing. The decision to deny the request was officially adopted by the Planning Commission when it approved the minutes from the May 3 hearing on June 6.

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In the notice filed with the court, the Harris’s believe the Planning Commission’s decision should be reversed because it was not in accord with the village’s ordinances, Ohio law, and that “the decision is unconstitutional, illegal, arbitrary, capricious, unreasonable and/or is unsupportive bya preponderance of substantial, reliable, and probative evidence.”

A message for comment from the Harris’s attorney was not returned.

Village Manager Julie Duffy said the appeal is currently in the discovery phase and that materials concerning the decision have been forwarded to the Harris’s attorneys.

The Harris’s had planned to sell their property to a developer for Casey’s General Store to build a 10-pump gas station/convenience store on the property. However, a conditional use permit was needed in order to proceed with the project and was not the final development plan for the project.

The Planning Commission discussed the application on March 1, April 5 and May 3 as well as held a public hearing on March 1, according to records submitted by the village.

There was a number of residents who spoke for and against the proposed request for a conditional use permit, which was the first step to redevelop the property. The Planning Commission also had to make a decision at its May 3 meeting due to the 60-day timeframe required in the village code.

The six-member commission voted 3-3 on the request for a conditional use permit which required at least four votes for approval. The tie vote resulted in denying the request. Those members voting against the request cited close proximity to two other gas stations, traffic safety and public health concerns.

The administrative appeal case has been assigned to Common Pleas Judge Timothy Tepe. No hearing date has been set, according to the Warren County Clerk of Courts website.

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