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Plans for Carroll Township Speedway skid to a stop

| Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2013, 1:06 a.m.

For the second time in less than a decade, plans for a commercial development at a high-traffic intersection in Carroll Township have fallen through.

The busy intersection of Routes 88 and 837 in the Fisher Heights section of Carroll Township was once eyed for a King's Family Restaurant, which never materialized.

Now Speedway is the latest business to be derailed.

The Carroll Township Planning Commission rejected a site plan for Speedway during a hearing Monday, where representatives for the company failed to attend. If the planning commission had accepted it, the plans would have next gone to the township commissioners for approval.

Speedway is a chain of gas and convenience stores primarily located in the Midwest and South. It is the largest chain in central Ohio.

Township Zoning Officer Dennis Butler said Speedway never altered the site plan it initially submitted. The firm also failed to seek a variance from the township ordinance requiring a 200-foot setback for gas storage tanks, Butler said. The company planned to store 42,000 gallons of bulk gas on the site.

Nicholas Hershberger, engineering services manager at Civil Engineers of Southwest Ohio, which serves as developer for Speedway, didn't return calls Tuesday.

Butler said Speedway had an agreement in principal or commitment to buy the property if the plans were approved.

He said Mon Valley Foods, owner of the Fisher Heights Giant Eagle located adjacent to the site, had an agreement with King's barring development of a convenience store on the site. Speedway officials have contended that deal is not binding. They are litigating the dispute, Butler said.

Butler said Speedway will have to start the process over again if it still has designs on the site. That would begin with filing a new application with the planning commission, which it initially did in February.

He said the company only submitted preliminary plans, although Butler said if preliminary plans are approved, final plans are generally accepted as well.

In late 2004, Hartley King told The Valley Independent he had plans to build a King's Family Restaurant at the intersections of Routes 88 and 837 by the summer of 2005. But that development never happened and the site sat vacant for years.

In recent months, residents have complained at township supervisors' meetings about the overgrown property that they claim is a haven for wild animals.

Chris Buckley is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2642 or cbuckley@tribweb.com.

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