MOUNT VERNON — It didn’t take long for the Mount Vernon Planning Commission to reach a decision on the proposed rezoning of lots on Sandusky Street from Neighborhood Commercial to General Business. The vote was 5-0 against the proposed rezoning of the lots at 625, 627, 629 and 631 N. Sandusky St. and 2 Madison St.
The owners of the lot at 625 Sandusky St., Mount Vernon Finance LLC, wanted to open a used car lot on the site of the former Directions Credit Union, but that requires a General Business zoning.
When the change request first came before the commission at its June meeting, questions arose about whether all the property owners supported the change. Karen Ressler, 629 Sandusky St., said she had not agreed to anything.
This time Jay Nixon, attorney for the owners, presented statements that all the property owners in question agreed to the rezoning.
Later, when statements were being accepted from the public, Councilman Jim Francis of Marion Street, who opposed the rezoning, said Ressler had been paid $2,500 to drop her opposition to the change and another neighbor had been promised the return of a easement for a parking space-sized piece of his lot. The implication was that an underhanded deal had taken place, but as Nixon pointed out, and Mavis also confirmed, these were business deals made between the property owners.
The owners of the proposed car lot said it would have a minimal impact on the already heavy traffic on Sandusky, they would not be disturbing the neighborhood and the trend of Sandusky Street is towards business anyway. They also presented a petition signed by 39 residents of the neighborhood stating they did not oppose the rezoning.