The Grove City board of zoning appeals voted Sept. 24 to reject a request by NAPA Auto Parts for a parking variance.
The board voted 2-0 to deny NAPA's request to reduce the code-required 34 parking spaces to 20 as part of the business's plan to expand its building, 2580 Columbus St.
BZA Chairman Harold "Butch" Little and member John Brant voted against the request. BZA member Kelly Reisling was absent.
"The issue here is parking spaces," Little said. "You need to come up with 14 more parking spaces."
Robert Morris, representing property owner Darlene McKnight, said he was not sure how they would be able to do that.
"I don't think you can," Morris said.
According to a city staff report, NAPA proposed to build two additions to its building: a 12-by-40-foot addition on its west end and a 16-by-70-foot addition to its east side along Leithart Drive.
Morris said it was his understanding NAPA would not remain in the building if it did not get the additions.
"I would hate to see NAPA move," he said.
Morris presented to the board a letter from the owner of the nearby Midas, located on the other side of Leithart Drive, agreeing to offer some overflow parking.
However, City Attorney Asim Hague said the letter was not a binding agreement.
"If that is what the board was looking for, this is not it," he said.
Little said he did not envision NAPA customers being willing to cross the street to park.
"They will choose a parking space closest to that (front) door whether that's on your lot or someone else's," he said to the applicants. "How do you police that?"
Also attending the meeting were adjacent property owners and representatives opposing the variance.
"People are going to park on our property," said Larry Goldin, whose mother is part-owner of the neighboring retail center. "We know we're going to pay for this."
In related news, the board also voted to table a request by the Grove City Church of the Nazarene, 4770 Hoover Road, for a variance to construct a ground-mounted sign that exceeds the 50-square-foot area limit by 170 square feet and the 8-foot height limit by 16 feet.
The church also requested a variance to install an electronic message center.
After discussion, the applicants agreed to work with city staff and discuss other building options for the sign, including reducing its size.