Old theater could become auto sales lot

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By Hannah Poling
Staff Writer

A zoning request has been made by Auto Boutique Limited to turn the old movie theater on Georgesville Square Drive into a used auto sales lot.

Commissioner Mike McKay brought this up at the Sept. 18 Westland Area Commission meeting.

The movie theater, Regal Cinemas, closed in early 2019 after operating on the westside for more than 20 years.

“They don’t want to rezone, but they want to basically amend the allotted uses to allow for used auto sales, and they want to turn the movie theater into a used car lot,” said McKay.

The plan at this stage does not include diagrams of what the company intends to do with the property.

“All that I have to go on is the sentence that says here’s what we want to do,” said McKay.

If this request were to be accepted, the zoning district would remain the same. However, the current zoning status has an exclusion for uses of auto sales which would need to be amended to allow for auto sales on the property.

The entire Georgesville Square Shopping Center was rezoned back in 1994 with the exclusion of Lowes and Kroger. There was one time in the past 25 years when Wendy’s came forward and wanted an amendment for the allowable building materials they could utilize due to corporate remodeling. Wendy’s request was granted. Outside of that request, this would be the second time the commissioners would have been asked to make this type of change.

McKay encouraged the commissioners to think about it.

“We obviously don’t have to say yes to anything,” he said.

In other news, three major grocers in the area – Kroger, Walmart and Giant Eagle have issued a new gun position.

Bill Steimer, vice chair of the commission, said, “Because of recent events, the shootings and such, they are openly discouraging, or they are discouraging formally, the open carry of weapons. Even though individuals have the right to do so, they are discouraging this just for the sake of trying to keep things calm in the public.”

In addition, the Columbus City Council has proposed a plan to place security lighting along Hall Road between Georgesville and Norton roads. This is part of the Hall Road Street Lighting Improvement Project that would install 64 aluminum LED lights poles along the road. It has not yet been determined when the lighting will be installed.

The conditions in the area have been deemed unsafe due to many pedestrians walking on foot from their apartments to different businesses and buildings.

According to commission member Nancy Day-Achauer, the city has approved the funding for it.

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