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The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

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A public hearing will be held in Oregon council chambers at 8 p.m. on Dec. 12 for a Special Use Exception (SUE) permit so that the Kroger store at 1920 Woodville Rd. could be converted to a welcome center and warehouse for the Toledo Refining Company.

The property is currently zoned C-2 General Commercial District.

The Oregon Planning Commission, which held a special meeting on Nov. 8, recommended approval of the SUE by a vote of 5-0.

Rod Conant, an agent for Toledo Refining Company, said at the planning commission meeting that the welcome center would process contractors and new employees who come onsite with the intent to work at the refinery. The building would also be used as a warehouse for spare parts and other supplies to operate the refinery. The company does not plan to make major modifications to the exterior of the building, but expects to make major improvements, or changes, to the interior. The company also plans to fence the area for security and erect an eight foot fence at the front of the building.

The hours of the facility would be from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday with the exception of a major project or outage that would extend the hours. The property would continue to be accessed at the traffic light.

Rick Orovitz, chairman of the planning commission, asked if landscaping is required at the site. James Gilmore, commissioner of building and zoning, said it is not required because the company is not making significant changes to the building.

Conant said there are plans to install landscaping on the property near the eight foot high fence.

A resident from Blandin Dr. asked if there would be any modifications to an existing fence that butts up to a residential area. Conant said there were no plans to modify that fence.

The Project Review Committee had no objections to the SUE, said Gilmore.

The planning commission recommended approval of the SUE with the conditions that a fence height requirement of four feet be waived to allow for the eight foot high fence, and that two lots on the property be combined into one parcel.

No vacancy
Mayor Mike Seferian, who is a member of the planning commission, said at a council meeting last week that the planning commission held the special meeting to speed up the process for Toledo Refining Company to buy the eight foot fence.

“It is important because Toledo Refinery has to have it in their budget if they’re going to purchase it this year. That’s why we sped the process up with a special meeting. We were very concerned with the fact that that is an older store. And we know what tends to happen with those older box stores – if we can’t find someone to take use of them, they tend to stand vacant for a long time,” said Seferian.

A couple of neighbors attended the planning commission meeting, but nobody was opposed to the SUE, he added.

“There seemed to be no one who was against the application and they seemed pleased there wouldn’t be a vacant building in their neighborhood.”

Although the Kroger store is closing, Beazley said there are several other grocery stores in the city for residents to patronize.

“There’s more square footage devoted to grocery in Oregon than any time in our history,” said Beazley. “The Kroger stores are moving toward larger stores. Kroger is expanding its store on Navarre. We also have Walmart, Meijer, and Aldi’s. We have specialty markets, carryouts, and meat markets. So there are other options.”

He acknowledged that East Toledo residents who live near the Kroger store on Woodville Rd. were disappointed to hear Kroger was closing. The only other grocery store in East Toledo is on Main Street.

“There are a lot of East Toledoans who have been served by that Kroger store. That will be a challenge for them,” he said.

 

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