In anticipation of future growth, Midwestern Auto Group (MAG) presented a rezoning and preliminary development plan to Dublin's planning and zoning commission last week.

In anticipation of future growth, Midwestern Auto Group (MAG) presented a rezoning and preliminary development plan to Dublin's planning and zoning commission last week.

During the work session June 17, commission members were split over the necessity of a 200-space parking lot addition on 2.82-acres of vacant land to the west of the business on Perimeter Loop Drive just south of Venture Drive. The lot would be used for employee and overflow parking.

"I would not be supportive of this parking lot going here," said vice chair Chris Amorose Groomes. "There are more long-term environmentally responsible ways to achieve that end without putting that there."

Groomes told the applicant's attorney, Ben Hale Jr., that she'd like to see something more permanent and more environmentally friendly.

"I do want to keep pace with the work done to preserve that corridor and work with the applicant to pursue options beneficial to the city and the applicant," she said.

Commission member Warren Fishman also didn't like the idea.

"The real vision of that property was suburban office," Fishman said. "We don't want to make any assumptions of that property that it would be anything other than suburban office."

Although not formally presented, Hale told the commission he would be returning for its review of an expansion of the current MAG facility, another reason to need the additional parking.

"We want to have this lot built in time so when we start building this building we can have the lot there," Hale said. He hoped construction would start on the lot in the fall.

The redesign and expansion of the facility is to update the branding of the Aston Martin, Jaguar and Land Rover product lines, and for square footage to relocate the Volvo line, according to information submitted to the city.

"I think we've got the cart before the horse," commission member Flite Freimann said. "There are, in my estimation, plenty of spots on the lot to support what's going on. I can't vote to asphalt 2.8 acres of grass until we know we're going forward with the expansion."

Commission member Ted Saneholtz said he didn't mind the proposal, as long as it was conditional and not a zoning change on the site.

Hale indicated that the Midwestern BMW is considering relocating elsewhere on the MAG property at the end of its lease in 2011, and that may be connected to the proposed parking lot.

"Where the current BMW dealership is, according to BMW dealership standards, is inadequate. That BMW dealership is going to leave that site. They're hope is when that happens they would move the dealership here and if they don't, they'll have to move it somewhere else," Hale said.

Freimann said he was uncomfortable talking about a proposal with so many moving parts.

"BMW might sell or move and we might not approve the application," Freimann said. "If you eventually come back to us we can cross that bridge when we get there. I'm not interested in going too far down the road."

In other news, the commission voted 6-0 to approve a plan for a permanent structure over the existing stage at Coffman Park to replace a temporary awning. Members also:

Approved 6-0 the rezoning for 199.154 acres along the south side of Post Road, west of the intersection with U.S. Route 33 in the Central Ohio Innovation Center, to high density POD.

Approved a 21,104-square-foot tenant space and 77-square-foot wall sign for an existing building at 6525 Sawmill Road. The new tenant, Billiards Plus, agreed that delivery trucks would be parked at the rear of the building and it would consider using a darker green for its sign.