Proposed gas station at former site of grocery store in Old North Dayton denied
Dayton’s Board of Zoning Appeals denied a permit application for the construction of a gas station where the old GroceryLane used to be in North Dayton. Community members there opposed the project.
GroceryLane in Old North Dayton was destroyed by the 2019 tornados. The owners of the grocery store — who were renting the building — tried to fix it up, although it got heavily vandalized. The building was later demolished in 2021.
The community is classified as an area that lacks access to healthy and affordable foods by the Montgomery County Food Equity Coalition.
Now, the owner of the land, 1451 Troy Street Investments LLC, wants to build a gas station with a convenience store — a $2.6 million dollar project, according to the developers.
But, some community members don’t want it. Instead, they’d like a new grocery store. The board received about six letters in and three calls in opposing the project, and only one call in support.
Matt Tepper, the president of the Old North Dayton Neighborhood Association, said he doesn’t believe the neighborhood needs another gas station selling liquor in the neighborhood.
“Everything proposed to be offered in this site is already offered in the neighborhood and in some cases too much is being offered,” Tepper added after the old GroceryLane was demolished, the owner neglected the property.
“The asphalt of the parking lot was not [removed], the weeds out there today are three feet high,” Tepper said. "Trucks are parking there because none of the entrances are secure. This is neglect. This does not warrant special consideration.”
Randy Takhar, the owner of the property said he understands the frustration within the community, but he’s ready to improve the lot.
“When the building is occupied, obviously, those issues will be dealt with…it'll be enhanced,” Takhar said.
Patrick Martin, one of the board members, said the project met the permitted use of the property, and whether the neighborhood did or did not want the gas station was another matter.
“I think the neighborhood would say subjectively this isn’t appropriate,” Martin said “But I think that the neighborhood, while incredibly important, it's not the neighborhood's opinion that gets judged by the courts.”
After a failed motion to approve the project, the board voted three to two to deny it.
The land owner will now have to appeal the decision in the county court to move the project forward.
Alejandro Figueroa is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms. Support for WYSO's reporting on food and food insecurity in the Miami Valley comes from the CareSource Foundation.