Union Township plans to see firehouse design soon

December 15th, 2006    Author: Rodney Beckwith    Filed Under: News

The Union Township Board of Trustees cleaned up a few end-of-the-year issues at their Dec. 12 meeting, concluding three zoning cases and updating the status of the design build process for their new fire station, Station 52. The trustees also voted to dedicate some right-of-way to the county for road improvements on Bach-Buxton Road.

The first zoning issue heard by the trustees was for the Cherry Grove Sports Complex and involved a plan to expand their sand volleyball court facility from five to seven courts.

“This is to install two outdoor sand volleyball courts and a snack and refreshment bar,” said zoning director Cory Wright. “This property is located on the west side of Hopper Hill Road. This has been a successful recreational complex and has undergone several expansions.”

As part of the expansion, seven new parking spaces will be created for the business which employs 44-54 people at a time, depending on the time of year. In all, some 1,250 people come through weekly for the sand volleyball courts, said one of the owners, and they have been requesting additional courts for some time.

The trustees voted to approve the expansion, as well as that of their second case, which will convert a vacant building at 4325 Mt. Carmel-Tobasco Road into the new headquarters for Trademark Stationary.

The evening's third case, however, generated some debate. Siler's Drive Thru, currently located on Old SR 74, requested permission to relocate to 4707 Tealtown Road, in order to escape a traffic pattern that owner Kevin Siler said has been detrimental to his business during high-traffic hours.

"I've owned and operated Siler's Drive Thru on Old 74 for 24 years," said Siler. "We're looking to get out of the traffic flow we're in. My business suffers from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. because of it. I won't generate more traffic on Tealtown, but capture what is already there."

Located in a heavily-occupied residential area, the proposed site would result in retail sales near a number of homes, a prospect which the trustees didn't approve of.

"I do have some reservations and concerns," said trustee Matt Beamer. "I have an overwhelming concern at this point about a retail business in a residential setting. There are a few businesses there already, but I wonder if something else would be a better use there. It's hard for people to get in and out there."

"It's a residential area, basically," agreed trustee Bob McGee. "Opening it up to retail business, I don't think we're ready for that."

Although they thanked Siler for his contributions to the community and voiced a strong support for small business, the board voted 2-0 to deny the zoning approval for the new business. Trustee Barbara Weidenbien, who owns an auto parts store on Tealtown Road, abstained from the vote.
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