Alpha Dental will open its second central Ohio location later this year after obtaining the rezoning necessary to accommodate patient parking at the 8,000-square-foot facility at 4121 E. Main St.
Whitehall City Council members, at their April 1 meeting, unanimously approved the rezoning of an adjacent parcel of land, owned by Eastern Union Bible College, from residential district to office district, allowing vehicles to park on the undeveloped lot.
Development Director Zach Woodruff told council members the office's opening matches the development and job growth the city seeks, particularly along the East Main Street corridor.
"This is the kind of thing we want to see (on East Main Street)," Woodruff said.
Bruce Durr, co-founder of Alpha Dental, said the Whitehall location will be its fourth office statewide.
The first opened in 2010 in Logan, followed by locations in Ashland and on West Broad Street in Columbus.
Alpha Dental will hire eight to 10 full-time employees, Woodruff said.
"We plan to open (in Whitehall) by the start of August," Durr said.
Alpha Dental purchased the building last year after the previous occupant, Photographics of Columbus, closed. Alpha Dental since has been working to obtain necessary variances and zoning amendments, Woodruff said.
Council's action April 1 provides the parking necessary for patients to visit the office.
Also at their April 1 meeting, council members repealed a city code requiring private-property owners to remove snow and ice from sidewalks.
Under the former code, which city leaders believed to have been adopted in the early 1970s, residents could have been charged with a minor misdemeanor for failing to clear snow and ice from sidewalks within four hours of sunrise.
According to a 1993 decision by the Ohio Supreme Court, residents have no common-law duty to remove the natural accumulation of snow and ice from sidewalks.
Councilman Wes Kantor, after observing children walking in the streets after heavy snow accumulations blocked many sidewalks last winter, inquired about the code.
There is no record of any Whitehall resident ever having been cited under the former ordinance.
Council members also voted 5-1 last week to adjust the maximum salary range of the city's legal assistant from $59,151 to $60,000.
Councilwoman Leslie LaCorte dissented. LaCorte said she was opposed to providing a mid-year raise specific to an individual job.