ELYRIA — City Council members took the first step toward welcoming two new Dollar General stores to the city by voting in a Community Development Committee meeting Monday night to rezone several parcels of property in two neighborhoods.
The stores are being built by a developer, Midwest LLC based in Spring Lake, Mich., and will be leased to the discount retailer. The first is being built near Bell and Lake avenues, and the second near West Ridge and Fowl roads.
A timetable for construction was not available Monday.
Council members said they have no concerns about the location on the western edge of the city, but are worried about the potential traffic headache the Bell Avenue location could pose for the neighborhood.
“Anytime we have a new business coming into the city, it is a good thing and I am not trying to take away from the work of these developers, but I also grew up over there and I know from experience that the traffic when school lets out is unbearable,” said Councilwoman Donna Mitchell, D-6th Ward.
Mitchell also wondered if the city needed another dollar store in close proximity to where a Family Dollar opened several months ago.
The Lake Avenue site was approved unanimously, and Mitchell was the lone dissenting vote on the Bell Avenue site.
Councilwoman Brenda Davis, D-2nd Ward, who lives on Bell Avenue, said the residents need more information about what this will do to traffic in the neighborhood before the rezoning takes place.
Davis is not a member of the Community Development Committee and did not have an opportunity to vote Monday.
She will have a chance to vote when the matter comes before full Council.
“I’m just worried because I don’t think the residents truly knew what was happening with this new store in their neighborhood,” she said.
Councilman Marcus Madison, D-5th Ward, said the area is not his ward, but he welcomes the project.
“It will take an area that has sat and will turn it into something of constructive use,” he said.
Earlier this month, the Planning Commission approved the rezoning of all the parcels related to the two stores.
In the unanimous decisions, it recommended 119 Bell Ave. and 1319 Lake Ave. be rezoned from business-automotive oriented district to business neighborhood district, and 1305 and 1301 Lake Ave. be rezoned from residential two-household district to business neighborhood district.
It also recommended a 3-acre parcel at the northwest corner of West Ridge and Fowl roads be rezoned from residential-medium density district to business neighborhood district.
Contact Lisa Roberson at 329-7121 or email@example.com.