Worthington

Giant Eagle would be understandable, but unacceptable

To the editor:

I can see how Worthington stands to gain financially if the UMCH land is developed as proposed.

In 2011, the state Route 161 Giant Eagle paid over $254,000 in property taxes, according to the Franklin County auditor’s website, and at a lower tax rate than Worthington’s. I can see other benefits, as well, primarily related to convenience and perhaps to employment – if Worthington residents acquire jobs at the Giant Eagle or if Worthington businesses provide services to the store, such as plowing, landscaping, asphalt maintenance, etc.

I can also see that a Giant Eagle consumes much more land than the Jubilee Foods. As a 24-hour business, a Giant Eagle would contribute far more noise and light pollution than the Jubilee Foods did. And with a considerably larger parking area, a Giant Eagle would contribute more water run-off and ground contamination.

I wonder whether the economic and convenience benefits balance the cost of both dramatically altering the streetscape along that stretch of North High Street and impinging on the Worthingway neighborhood.

What impact will the development have on traffic, both along North High and through the Worthingway/Worthington Estates areas? Will entrances be on High Street only and without benefit of an additional traffic light between Larrimer Avenue and Worthington Galena Road, or established without using residential streets? Does the sheer size of a Giant Eagle fit in that location, bordering – as it would – a residential neighborhood?

I grew up on the first block of Longfellow, and I know my parents would not have wanted to raise their children across the street from a 24-hour business the size of a Giant Eagle. Nor would they have wanted to live with the constant noise of shopping carts, compressors and diesel trucks, or with lights that were darkened only during our characteristic power outages.

Lin Distel
Worthington

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