Meijer Seeks Zone Change for Austintown Site
AUSTINTOWN, Ohio – The Austintown Township Zoning Commission will hold a public hearing Thursday to consider a zoning change to accommodate construction of a Meijer store on Mahoning Avenue at the site of the former Austintown Middle School .
Woolpert Inc., an architectural and engineering firm in Dayton, submitted the zoning request to Darren Crivelli, township zoning inspector. The firm is requesting to amend the existing R-1 buffer area on two properties along Mahoning Avenue east of Fitch boulevard totaling just over half an acre to be rezoned to B-2 Business from R-1 Residential.
Woolpert plans a continuous landscape buffer between the proposed pavement for the retail development and parking area and the adjacent east R-1 properties at the site and will retain another R-1 buffer varying in length on the east property line, according to the letter submitted to Crivelli
The Austintown Local School Board announced in February that it had approved an agreement to sell the former school building at 5800 Mahoning Ave. to the Meijer chain for $2.6 million. Additionally, the company has a deal with OLOM Ltd., Mineral Ridge, to purchase the building that housed the former Austintown Branch of the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County.
The Mahoning County Planning Commission recommended the zoning change at its meeting Tuesday, Crivelli said.
“They just need to bump that site out a little bit to accommodate the project,” he said.
The next step in the process is the zoning commission public hearing, which will take place tomorrow at 6 p.m. in the Township Administration Building, 82 Ohltown Road, after which trustees will make their final determination, he said.
Should trustees approve the change, Woolpert then must seek a conditional use permit because of the size of the project. The proposed store building is around 195,000 square feet and the project site is approximately 15 acres, Crivelli said.
Once the approvals are in place, Meijer will move forward on purchasing the former school and library buildings and demolish them. The Austintown store is “one of a number of projects” the chain is working on, he said.
“They’ve indicated to me that they’re hoping for an opening in 2019,” he said. “But demolition of the buildings will occur immediately once they acquire the properties.”
Pictured: Rendering for proposed Austintown Meijer store.
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