(Posted Oct. 22, 2019)
By Andrew Garrett, Staff Writer
Plans for the long-vacated former Kmart building in London were revealed at the Oct. 17 London city council meeting.
City council heard the first reading of legislation that calls for rezoning the lot situated at 238 Lafayette St. A change in designation would mean more freedom of use of the structure and accompanying parking lot. If passed, the zoning would change from B-1 business district (a commercial area for convenience style businesses) to a planned unit development, “which opens it up to let you do more, different things,” Mayor Pat Closser said.
Aaron Miller of Flax Miller Law Firm, which filed the application on behalf of LNT Real Estate Holdings LLC, owner of the property, shed some light on what those uses might be. The intended use is to lease out the main part of the building as storage for recreational vehicles such as RVs, boats and trailers, he said.
Additionally, there was talk of possibly breaking up the southern portion of the building into retail spaces, but plans have not been solidified.
Council decided to leave the zoning legislation on for a second reading at council’s next meeting on Nov. 7.
Legislation to increase the payscale for city employees who work in the Parks and Recreation Department failed to pass on emergency reading after council learned that Josh Rice, president of the local AFSCME union, had requested job descriptions and other information. According to Rice, there might be some “overlap” between duties performed by the unionized employees of the street department and the workers in the parks and recreation department, but without the same payscale being shared between the two departments. Council left the ordinance on for another reading so that Rice’s request for information could be satisfied.
Council amended legislation that centers around a fund created to recoup delinquent taxes through an agreement with Central Collection Agency. The amendment allows the money in that fund to be used for a wider range of purposes than originally intended. The city’s Historic Downtown Revitalization Committee (HDRC) plans to use some of the funds to commission a study through Heritage Ohio as part of its Main Street Program. The study costs $5,000, or roughly a third of the money in the delinquent taxes fund.
According to its website, www.heritageohio.org, the non-profit corporation administers the Ohio Main Street Program, which works with communities across the state to revitalize their historic or traditional commercial areas.
Council held a first reading on a measure to appropriate the $5,000 to the HDRC. A second reading will be held at council’s next meeting.
Council also voted to appoint Amy Follrod to the city’s Board of Zoning Appeals for a term that runs through Dec. 12, 2020.