Grove City gave Byers Auto the green light to start its engines this week.
At its meeting on Monday, March 17, Grove City Council voted unanimously for a resolution approving the development plan for a Byers Chevrolet automobile dealership at North Meadows Drive near London Groveport Road and Interstate 71. The showroom will face I-71.
The dealership, according to staff reports from the city's development department, will sell new and used vehicles. The building is projected to be 47,000 square feet and have 391 parking spaces, 275 of which will be for its inventory. In addition to sales, Byers plans to offer vehicle service and parts as well as car washes.
The Grove City Planning Commission recommend approval of the dealership's plan March 4.
Mayor Richard "Ike" Stage said it was 13 months ago when he first spoke with the Byers family about bringing a dealership to Grove City.
"They're very, very welcome, and we're glad to have them," he said.
John Oney of Architectural Alliance, representing Byers, said the company intends to have a groundbreaking for the project by May 1, and to open late this year.
The approval came with three stipulations recommended by the Planning Commission: increase the amount of stone in the west-facing facade, with final building elevations to be approved by the development department; add parapets to cover the building's rooftop mechanicals; and follow the Planning Commission-supported deviation from required parking lot setbacks and landscaping along I-71 and North Meadows Drive.
A fourth stipulation, that the aerators in the pond on the site be repaired for operation, was removed by council after it was determined the pond had no aerators.
City Administrator Chuck Boso said he doesn't think aerators are necessary given that the pond is deeper than other such ponds, meaning the sun can't reach the bottom to allow algae to grow.
Grove City Attorney Stephen Smith said if algae in the pond becomes an issue, the city code can address it.
The pond itself falls between property owned by Byers and Mount Carmel Health Systems, and Oney said it would be helpful for Mount Carmel to contribute if Byers had to.
In other news from City Council March 17:
* Council voted 5-0 to endorse the Beulah Park Conceptual Frame Work the city's administration prepared last year. It identifies five development guidelinesfor future development at Beulah Park after it closes as a racetrack in May.
Those principles were listed as integrating historical significance, maintaining a community gathering space, connectivity to surrounding neighborhoods, using quality design elements and ensuring a net fiscal benefit for the city.
Stage said the conceptual document gives the city a tool to provide to potential developers for any plan they might have for redeveloping the property.
"At least, it gives us a framework," he said.
* Council approved a resolution naming the park located on Demorest Road as Breck Community Park. The name was unanimously recommended by the Park Board to recognize the historical significance of Grove City founders William and Elizabeth Breck, who organized the city, recruited people to live in the area and donated land for Park Street School.
The park, currently under construction, is located off Demorest Road between Grove City Road and Southwest Boulevard, across the street from horse barns owned by Beulah Park. It will include a fenced-in, off-leash dog park.
Parks and Recreation Director Kim Conrad said the park will be opening this spring.
"We are currently about 95 percent complete," she said.