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Trustees approve zone change for new Meijer store

August 1, 2018
J.T. Whitehouse , The Town Crier

Boardman Township Trustees met on July 23 to conduct a hearing on the issue of the rezoning of a site in the area of Rte. 224 and Lockwood Boulevard for construction of a new Meijer store. During the meeting trustees dealt with several concerns from residents.

One of the concerns was over traffic flow. Some though the new store would create a big problem at that intersection.

"The Township is waiting to see the site plan for building as that process has not started," said Trustee Brad Calhoun. "Meijer did State they wanted access on 224 and were looking for access on Lockwood. ODOT (Ohio Department Of Transportation) has control of those roads and will require upgrades based on the traffic study. The Township does not support access from Lockwood."

The site Meijer is looking at is roughly 39 acres. Meijer wants to develop 17 acres, which required trustees to approve a zone change for four acres, which was done at the meeting. The Mahoning County Planning Commission had recommended the zone change, but the Boardman Township Zoning Commision recommended not approving it in a 4-1 vote. Trustees overturned that vote and gave their approval for the zone change.

Of the original 39 acres, 22 acres would be set aside as a conservation easement that would also make a good sized buffer between Lockwood residential areas. It would be an area that would remain natural for the future.

"The land in the conservation easement will remain untouched and will never be used for development," Calhoun said.

Meijer will now have to go through the Boardman Site Plan Review Committee and will have to comply with landscape, buffers, traffic upgrades and storm water regulations. If approved in the site plan committee, all the permitting will be through Mahoning County and construction can begin.

"Meijer has stated they would look to begin construction sometime in 2020-2021," Calhoun said.

It was stated the Meijer store would bring between 250-275 full and part time jobs and an investment of between $20 million to $25 million in site development and store construction capital.

Calhoun said it took a lot of careful thought to come to a decision on the property, but he feels the right move was made.

"The Elected Officials believe this project balances development and conservation and will add additional jobs to the community," he said. "Anytime new development takes places in the Township there will always be people who support it and those that do not. We, as elected officials, have to make a decision on what is ultimately the best use of this land. We believe this project is fits that bill."



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