ASHTABULA – A proposed Circle K on Main Avenue near downtown Ashtabula is one step closer to becoming a reality after a public hearing disclosed no major objections to building a new location for the convenience store that will front Main Avenue between West 58th Street and Fox Drive.
The stated purpose of the meeting was to solicit public input on the rezoning of two residential parcels currently under contract of sale with Mac’s Convenience Stores, LLC. A vote to rezone the homes at 317 and 321 W. 58th St. from residential to commercial is a condition of the project, Circle K Development Manager John Ishki.
If completed, the development project will sit roughly diagonal northeast from the current Circle K location at 5825 Main Ave. – a location Circle K is leasing for the existing store.
The project will front Main Avenue between West 58th Street and Fox Drive, abutting several residential homes along Fox Drive.
Ishki said the new location will be a near-exact replica of the store currently under construction on Lake Avenue in Ashtabula Harbor. Both stores are being built to plans for a new prototype design from Circle K and will be the first of their type built in Ohio.
The existing store does have underground fuel storage tanks that are not Circle K property. City Manager James Timonere said Ohio Bureau of Underground Storage Regulations call for the tanks to be removed by the property owner if they sit idle for more than one year.
Ishki said existing structures on the property will be demolished for the construction of the new Circle K and a large piece of green space will be incorporated where the two residential homes now sit to retain runoff and avoid flooding Main Avenue during heavy rains.
Once rezoning is complete, Circle K will have to submit their site plan to the Ashtabula County Planning Commission for approval, according to Ishki, who said a July or August date to finalize the real estate purchases for the new location was realistic.
Ward 2 Councilor August Pugliese raised a concern about illumination in the parking lot at the new store creating a nuisance for adjacent residences, as well as what sort of fencing will be incorporated to divide the retail shop from homes.
“Whatever [the planning commission] would like to see as far as fencing, we can do,” Ishki said.
Ishki also said lights would be shielded so as not to be a nuisance to nearby residents.
“We’ve been working with [Circle K] in the Harbor and we’ve asked them for things that aren’t in our zoning code and they’ve done them,” Timonere said. “They’ve been very easy to work with, very accommodating.”