Advance Auto Parts planned for state Route 14 in Columbiana

COLUMBIANA – The city is getting an Advance Auto Parts store, but at a different location than was originally discussed last April.

The new location is less than 110 feet away from the original location, which was on North Main Street near McDonald’s at the state Route 14 intersection.

Cedarwood Development will own the property at 249 and 253 east state Route 14 once construction is complete, according to minutes of the city’s planning commission meeting in which a site plan for the project was approved.

Construction is anticipated to begin this spring at the property opposite Windjammer Drive that currently features two homes, one of which has already sold and the other is listed for sale.

The homes will be demolished to make way for the store, which City Manager Lance Willard said will be about 80-feet-by-80-feet. Overall, the business will have access to about 6,800 square feet, 300 of which has been targeted for green space behind the store.

The property is already zoned C-3 and was being used as residential prior to the enactment of the city’s zoning laws in the 1970s, Planning Commission member Ron LaLonde said.

Because a zoning change is not needed council approval is not required, he added.

Council had been asked last year to vote on a zoning change for the original location near McDonald’s and the request was met with some contention.

The former developer, PASI-Inc. of Dayton, had targeted 630 N. Main St. for the store’s location on the basis that it is a high-traffic area. The residential property is owned by Don Snyder, who intended to sell it. His single-family home would have been demolished to make room for the store.

At that time commission members suggested finding another location along state Route 14, but Barry Weaver of PASI said the specified location was “ideal.”

PASI was requesting a zone change from R-3 high-density residential district to C-3 central business commercial district and council voted it down in May.

Those opposed were Jim King, Bryan Blakeman and Mary Calinger, while those in favor were Richard McBane and Tom Ferguson. Councilman Lowell Schloneger abstained, resulting in the majority having favor.

Had the request passed the store was expected to be constructed in July and operational later that year.

An official start and completion date for the store on state Route 14 has not been announced yet. Plans call for a 36-foot-wide driveway and a detention basin for storm water, and a sanitary line will be extended to the property. Also, the building will not feature a neon sign, but a 25-foot-tall pylon sign near the road. All lights will be directed down to alleviate impact to surrounding properties, and six-foot-high evergreen shrubbery will also serve as a barrier.

Cedarwood Development representative Brian Grassa told the commission previously the company was working with Howells and Baird Inc. on water retention and that drainage will go to the front of the property.

Construction is scheduled for 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. once it begins this spring, and the company will need to install sidewalks.

Once the building is completed hours of operation will be 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. with truck deliveries about once or twice a week at 7 a.m., according to the meeting minutes.

The commission also approved a conditional use certification for the business to perform complimentary automotive services for its customers in the parking lot.

Only two residents went on record against construction of the store, with Michelle Fleeson concerned about how the noise, lighting and additional traffic would affect her mother who lives nearby, and Clay Store concerned about how it would affect existing businesses that sell auto parts.

Commission member Tom Ferguson told them the city has no right to hinder a business that meets city codes.