MOUNT VERNON — The question of whether all of the property owners had “signed on” to a rezoning request on Sandusky Street sidelined the issue Wednesday and the commission will resume consideration at its July meeting.
The owners of the former Directions Credit Union site at 625 N. Sandusky St. want to open a used car lot on the site, but the Board of Zoning Appeals ruled that the current Neighborhood Commercial zoning does not allow that type of zoning. Accordingly, the owners filed for a change in the zoning of the block from Monroe Street to Madison Street to general business. They sought the rezoning of the length of the block, which includes two residences, a tattoo parlor and a beauty salon, to avoid the issue of “spot zoning.”
In presenting the petition for change, Attorney Robert Weston said traffic volume on Sandusky Street means the area will eventually develop commercially, as projected in the city’s comprehensive plan, and that despite rumors, the owners had no plans to develop a strip mall on the block. He also said the other property owners on the block agreed to the change.
However, that proved to not be the case, as Karen Ressler, 629 N. Sandusky St., said she had never agreed to anything. She had talked with them about the rezoning, “but I never said yes or no.”
Weston confirmed that he did not have a signed consent form from Ressler, but was told she had consented.
After more residents of the area testified about the issue, Weston asked the commission to delay a decision on the issue so the consent issue could be resolved.
The commission first heard testimony from several people, including nearby residents, who opposed the rezoning. Most objected to the idea of a car lot on the site, especially a “buy here, pay here” lot because they tend to come and go and they have no idea what future uses might come under the proposed zoning change.
Councilman John Francis, who represents the area and lives on nearby Marion Street, said he went door to door in the neighborhood and found only one resident who agreed with the change. All the rest opposed it.
Gretchen Stump, who lives nearby and works at the Marathon station, said she sees the traffic and light at the car lot near where she works and doesn’t want it near her home.
She also expressed the concern of several others when she noted that if the car lot fails, it opens the lot to other businesses.
“I’m worried about the future,” she said.
Before voting to table the issue until the July 11 meeting, commission member Joel Daniels said he had heard no convincing arguments to change the zoning and would vote against it.
Ressler and a neighbor from the other side of Sandusky Street who had testified against the change, Amanda McClain, said they were optimistic about the eventual decision.