WELLSVILLE — Residents on Chilton Avenue in Wellsville don’t have a problem with a Dollar General Store being built in town — they just don’t want it in their backyard, Arlen Frank said.
Frank, a retiree, has lived in his home at 820 Chilton Ave. with his wife, Jeanie, for 30 years, he said.
The Wellsville Planning Commission is set for a public hearing Wednesday to consider rezoning the property at 824 Chilton Ave. — next door to Frank’s home — from residential to commercial to pave the way for a proposed Dollar General store.
The Franklin County Appraiser’s Office website shows the property at 824 Chilton Ave. is owned by Janet Campbell, who could not be reached for comment. Frank said her property has been for sale for about two years, and is not in prime condition.
“The property has not been maintained for a while,” Frank said. “Therefore, it won’t sell.”
The property contains a house and two separate garages on lots six and seven of what Frank called the Chilton subdivision of Wellsville. The development was incorporated into the city 50 years ago as a residential subdivision, Frank said. It is located directly north of the Wellsville Market, 1002 K-33, across Pendleton Avenue.
A future land use zoning map of the town — adopted by the City of Wellsville Sept. 19, 2012 — indicates an area on the east side of K-33, east of the Chilton Avenue property, is marked for future commercial use. That commercial tract would be a better location for the Dollar General, Frank said, though the land currently is agricultural.
Bill Lytle, Wellsville mayor, confirmed Monday the property is for sale, and that the city had rezoned the area on the east side of K-33 for commercial use. The land zoned for future commercial development begins north of I-35 and extends northward up to the Seventh Street area in Wellsville, according to the future land use map.
With the potential for a commercial business being constructed in their subdivision, residents of Chilton Avenue are concerned their quiet neighborhood no longer would be so peaceful, Frank said.
A Dollar General being built next door also could drive down the value of his property, he said.
“We think that it will adversely affect our property value,” he said. “I would not have bought my property if it was right next to a commercial business. My bedroom window is 38 feet from [where the building’s four air conditioning units will be located].”
Other commercial properties are available in the city limits, but Dollar General representatives could get the property on Chilton Avenue cheaper and hook onto the city’s sewer and water, Frank said.
“It is a very cheap deal for Dollar General,” he said.
Tyler Oliver, of Henzlik-Oliver Real Estate in Overland Park, the project’s developer, said the company is aware of the sensitive nature of putting the commercial building in a residential area.
“We are very sensitive to the residential area and the neighbors,” Oliver said.
The 9,100-square-foot building project began in late July or early August when the developer started talking to the landowner, Oliver said. If the rezoning is approved by the planning commission and the city council, the store could open as early as next spring, Oliver said.
Oliver said he plans to make a presentation during the planning commission’s meeting, which is scheduled 7 p.m. Wednesday at Wellsville City Hall, 411 Main St., Wellsville.
A 6-foot wooden privacy fence would be built on the west side of the building and would face Frank’s property, Oliver said.
“It will help screen our building from the residential properties,” Oliver said.
Fence or no fence, many city residents have shown their objection to the possible rezoning, Frank said, by signing a petition that had garnered nearly 60 signatures as of Monday — including the residents of Chilton Avenue. The petition is to be presented to the planning commission at Wednesday’s meeting, Frank said.