Chillicothe — Residents of Saint Andrews Boulevard are complaining that a proposed new restaurant will make traffic worse there, and that procedures which allowed it may not have been properly followed.
Joe Herlihy, who lives on the street and is a former Chillicothe councilman, has been in the forefront of the pressure against allowing a Chipotle restaurant to replace the car wash at the T-intersection there.
The short residential street has only one public entrance and outlet – to Western Avenue, between Plyley’s Lane and the Kroger grocery. It has always been difficult to make left turns there, especially during heavy traffic on four-lane Western Avenue.
Herlihy and his neighbors spoke at Chillicothe Council September 11th, and Herlihy supplied the verbatim text of his address, below.
In the council session, Mayor Luke Feeney said he did not know enough about the situation to give a response yet.
Joe Herlihy’s speech to council:
I’m Joe Herlihy. I live at 47 Saint Andrews Blvd, Chillicothe, OH
Peace be with you.
The proposed development of Chipotle on the west side of town has been met with a great deal of enthusiasm at the Herlihy house.
My special son Isaac can’t wait.
His Dad likes Chipotle too. His Dad likes the current owners even more.
My faith teaches me to be hopeful.
We certainly hope the project can be successful.
I say that with reservations.
The current Site Plan is Unsatisfactory.
The Board of Zoning Appeal (BOZA) Meeting on August 22 should be re-held.
As the BOZA secretary noted, and Chairman Malone acknowledged—proper notification of the meeting was not given. The Location on the Notification Sign said the Lions Shelter in Yoctangee Park. The Meeting was held at the City Annex on S. Paint Street. Granted, this is a technicality, but this is the nature of the notification process—it needs to be correct.
The primary reason for my complaint deals with the fact there was misinformation shared by Safety Service Director Cremeans, BOZA Chair Malone, and former City Inspector Kight. A requested traffic study was not performed. The City Engineer was not present to answer safety and design concerns. Several people expressed safety concerns and asked for a delay in approval.
Chairman Malone made inaccurate comments without sufficient professional guidance. He proceeded to grant (5) variance waivers that dealt with Site Plan’s setbacks, right-of-way, signage, and landscaping requirements. Some of these waivers could have been used to get some right-of-way to develop a right-turn lane onto Western Avenue.
Many people in the neighborhood are concerned about the challenges of handling the increased volume of traffic at the Saint Andrews & Western Avenue intersection. Another lane would allow double the number of cars to exit onto Western. This shortcoming could prove to be tragic and regretful. Time will tell.
I had a nice conversation with Devon Shoemaker concerning Chillicothe’s Planning Ordinances. Devon doesn’t think City Council can do much at this point. All eyes will have to be on Mayor Feeney—as he pulls a “rabbit out of his hat”.
My neighbors have asked me to keep my comments positive and hopeful.
Mayor Feeney has assured some of them he will have to look at things. He suggested a connection with Krogers might be a possibility. He also wants to talk with ODOT about a modification to the Stop Lights at Kroger and Plyleys Lane.
I certainly hope City Council realizes our Planning Regulations are poor and inadequate. As things currently stand, the City has no ability to have acceptable requirements in addition to zoning designation. The City’s Thoroughfare Planning Regulations are stuck in the 1990’s. Too much faith is placed with the Mayor. Not enough emphasis on top-drawer design work. Currently—the City’s Planning Ordinances has no requirement to know how many trips the Chipotle will likely generate. This is an incredible reality that should be corrected.
Be advised, there is other real estate on Saint Andrews that will likely test Mayor Feeney to be all things to all people. As some point this haphazard approach to City Planning will expose everyone to the reality—the City doesn’t know what it is doing.
I beg City Council to find away to delay progress on Chipotle.
I request a Review Session be set up to properly investigate how the traffic is going to be safely managed.
[email protected] 740.253.2203 C
PO Box 96
Chillicothe, OH 45601