CIRCLEVILLE – The approval for a 35 year old Duke and Duchess gas station to expand the business into several adjacent lots is in limbo after a mass exit of members from the newly formed group.
In December of 2019 Circleville Council Approved the new group with some pushback from Circleville City Mayor who cautioned the council that another group handing approvals could stagger business growth in our community and creating a toxic environment that may eventually turn business away. He explained this in a 30-minute conversation with the council below.
Council Approved of the BZA mostly for checks and balances of the planning and zoning commission, but this would mean that every zoning issue would go through both departments.
Now Englefield Oil, Duke, and Duchess are in limbo after over 6 months of waiting for approvals from Circleville Council, Planning and Zoning, and BZA. The gas station has had outstanding approvals from both Circleville Council who voted 6 to 1 for the gas station to move forward and was passed by planning in zoning with recommendations, but things have stopped at BZA after several members resigned suddenly from the position Chair Tom Spring, Jeff Carithers, Liston all resigned. Also Alternates Brent Bowers, resigned, Esterline has said that she doesn’t want to be reappointed.
The gas station had some pushback from some of the BZA members, Uptown Circleville where Tom Spring is president, Councilperson Sheri Theis, and some community members during council meetings before it reached the BZA committee board. Most were concerned about the look of the gas station and how it fits into the historical district that it sits close to, light pollution in the area, crime at the gas station, and overall plan to let a non-conforming entity expand in an area that’s not the overall plan for the area. More on this here: http://www.sciotopost.com/circleville-council-entities-argue-future-duke-dutchess/
According to the BZA they need at least three members in total to have a quorum the minimum to have a meeting, that according to them they have and are set to meet tonight.
This sudden change in members has City council stirring enough for them to place “Discussions on BZA” on the agenda for the judicial Committee on Tuesday night January 12, 2021. Where they will discuss changes.
According to Duke and Duchess if plans are approved they expect to break ground on the new project by spring of next year and finish mid summer based on weather. Read the plans for this new project here: http://www.sciotopost.com/duke-duchess-plan-gas-station-expansion-push-back-neighbors/
We will update you on Tuesday.