A proposal to build a Certified Oil convenience market and fuel center on the west side of Canal Winchester was back before the city's planning and zoning commission after the administration raised concerns about traffic and the business' impact on the area.

Applicants addressed concerns about the 3.7-acre property at 880 W. Walnut St., where the 4,500-square-foot convenience market would be built, during a meeting July 10. The property is at the northwest corner of Gender Road and West Walnut Street.

"For this specific case, (the administration is) not supportive of it just because of traffic concerns, and it doesn't conform to the area," city Development Director Lucas Haire said. "We prefer industrial use rather than commercial."

The initial plan brought before the planning and zoning commission June 12 included a right-in and right-out access point near the intersection of Gender Road and West Walnut Street and a second access point on West Walnut Street

After reviewing the plan, the city engineer recommended eliminating the right-in and right-out access point.

Certified Oil provided a revised plan in a June 23 letter to city planning and zoning administrator Andrew Moore.

"Per the revised traffic study, the site is proposing to extend the deceleration lane and make the Gender Road access right-in only," the letter stated. "The West Walnut Street access is remaining in the same location as originally proposed, as the parking on the south side of the building has been relocated to eliminate traffic conflicts and help with vehicular maneuvering through the site."

City planners, in their staff report to the commission, said the convenience store would adversely affect access to the West Walnut Industrial Park as well as traffic flow on Gender Road and West Walnut Street.

"The city of Canal Winchester has undertaken considerable projects and spent vast sums of money on ensuring the traffic continues to move through the Gender Road corridor in a safe and efficient manner," the staff report said. "In fact, we are currently designing additional improvements for the section of Gender Road from West Walnut Street south, including the Gender and Groveport Road intersection."

The site has been zoned for manufacturing since its annexation in 1964 and has been used for warehouse and distribution uses since 1979. The district was created by village council in 1987 to encourage economic and community development.

"Appropriate plans for the area would be to further develop the site for industrial use that would provide additional economic development opportunities for the community," the staff report said.

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