Grove City Council approved a plans for a gas station on Stringtown Road but delayed voting on a similar permit allowing outdoor sales there.
On Monday, July 1, council voted 4-1 for granting a special use permit for a Kroger Fuel gas station at 2410 Stringtown Road, the current site of the former Blockbuster and dry cleaners within the Grove City Plaza shopping center.
The facility would be within the existing Kroger Shopping Center at the corner of Stringtown and Hoover roads.
The proposed station, according to a staff report from the city Development Department, would have seven fuel dispensers and a 179-square-foot building selling convenience items and would be under a 19-foot tall canopy. It would be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and be staffed at all times by one or two employees.
Councilman Steve Bennett cast the dissenting vote. He said he is concerned about the "ecological ramifications" because the station's fuel tanks would be located near city sewer lines.
"I'm absolutely not OK with the tanks," he said. "If they collapse or become damaged, we're dumping thousands of gallons of fuel into the sewer."
Kroger was represented by Nick Hershberger of CESO Inc., a civil engineering firm that submitted the application for the fuel station, and by Jordin Horan, Kroger's real estate fuel development manager.
"We've looked at other options to move this site," Hershberger said. "That's the best option for this site."
However, council postponed a vote that would grant Kroger another special use permit for the outdoor sale of items at the gas station.
According to the city staff report, the facility would sell "typical products sold at convenience store such as drinks, ice and auto-related products" with self-service machines.
Horan said the design is a new prototype Kroger Columbus is introducing that is intended to have a lower profile and "still maintain a nice, clean look." She also said the features of the facility are meant to be more convenient for customers.
Council President Ted Berry questioned the need for outdoor sales so close to the Kroger grocery store and said there are safety concerns.
"I'm not impressed with the way it looks," he said. "Aesthetically, it's horrible."
Berry asked why the building couldn't be expanded, but Horan said this is the model Kroger has chosen.
"You can't dress up a vending machine more than a vending machine," she said.
"That's my point," Berry said.
Council will hold its vote at its next meeting on Monday, July 15.