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Granger trustees say no to Menards

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GRANGER TWP. — A vote by township trustees on a rezoning request has blocked an attempt by Menards — at least for now — from building a home improvement store on a

145-acre parcel on state Route 18.

Granger Township trustees voted Monday to reject a map amendment that would rezone the property at 241 Medina Road from R-1 (residential) to C-2 (commercial).

Trustees say the proposal was denied with a vote of 2-0 largely because current regulations say the project could be built 1,000 feet off Route 18, and Menards asked for 1,250 feet. Granger Trustee Teri Berry didn’t vote on the proposal, she said, because her family owns a minority interest in an adjoining property.

The other two trustees, John Ginley and chair Richard Pace, rejected the proposal.

Ginley said the map amendment is basically a line.

“They asked to move it further back (from the road),” he said.

Ginley said Menards wants to use that extra space to sell lots or rent out frontage to other businesses, like a restaurant. In that scenario, people can come eat and then visit the store.

Trustees have never seen any potential plans for the building, Ginley said.

“This is just the first process,” he said.

A representative from Menards was not available for comment.

Menards is in the process of purchasing the property at 241 Medina Road. Two houses on the parcel would be torn down. The property is valued at $1.1 million on the Medina County Auditor’s website and owned by Colette Hartman.

“This was a complicated commercial deal,” Pace said. “They wanted to add service roads and out lots, and they had to be of a certain size.

“We had to react and make a decision based on how the applicant decided to proceed. This is much more complicated than a big building going on that land.”

Ginley said the township’s zoning commission made a recommendation in December to deny the zoning change. The township decided it was not in its best interest to give the project an additional 250 feet.

“(Menards) presented it the way they wanted to present it,” he said.

Pace said Menards still has the option of submitting a plan for a Planned Development District, or PDD, which would allow for the project to be set back 1,250 feet.

In a PDD, it gives the township more say on how the plan is accepted, he said, and “works better for everybody.”

Pace said he’s not against having a Menards in Granger.

“These aren’t arbitrary decisions we make,” he said. “There is nothing in our zoning regulations that says Menards is a no.

“If it comes back (before the trustees) once again, we’ll look at it and judge it on its merits.”

“There’s a lot to it, believe me,” Pace added. “The trustees spent a significant time reviewing this. It’s a significant project.”

Ginley said it is possible Menards might present its proposal at a later date and apply for a PPD.

He said property owners along Route 18 have the right to put in commercial businesses, whether it’s “Menards, Lowe’s or Home Depot.”

If things break down in Granger, there could be other alternatives for Menards.

Kimberly Marshall, city of Medina economic development director, said she was going to reach out to the home improvement store to gauge its interest in Medina or possibly Montville Township in a possible Joint Economic Development District.

The next trustee meeting is set for 4 p.m. Monday at the Granger Administration Building, 3717 Ridge Road.

Contact reporter Bob Finnan at rfinnan@medina-gazette.com.
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