Taco Bell proposal returns once again

By Scott Mahoney - smahoney@civitasmedia.com

Well, here we go again — a developer is interested in opening a Taco Bell near the corner of Rt. 58 and Rt. 20.

On Feb. 15, Tusing Builders, on behalf of Coles Land Development Company, presented the Oberlin planning commission with a site plan for a proposed 2,204 square-foot Taco Bell restaurant.

The site plan proposes dividing the lot, located on the southwest corner of Rt. 58 and Rt. 20, into three lots, with the fast food restaurant being built on the easternmost lot.

This is the third time in five years a developer has approached the city with plans to allow Oberlinians to make a run for the border.

Coles Land Development presented a site plan to the planning commission last year for a Taco Bell before pulling it back.

“It wasn’t anything the city did. I think they were trying to decide exactly what they wanted to put on the property,” Oberlin planning director Carrie Handy said. “They were considering a couple other uses. They told me they were pulling off to kind of go back to the drawing board and make sure they were doing what they thought best.”

In 2012, SVG Management, on behalf of Triad Realty, submitted plans to build a combined Taco Bell and KFC on the property. The 2012 proposal involved dividing the property into five lots — four buildable and one for storm water retention — and included a shopping plaza.

While Oberlin gave developers approval for the 2012 proposal, SVG Management and Triad Realty eventually scrapped the project.

The most recent site plan would have two entrances to the property — one located on Rt. 20 that would line up with the existing Walmart entrance, and a right-in/right-out entrance on Rt. 58.

There is some question on whether the Rt. 20 entrance should be a public roadway or a private drive, which is proposed in the site plan.

City administrators aren’t sure whether the city can require the developer to put in a public street, or if the city would even want a public street it would be responsible for maintaining.

A similar issue arose in 2012 as developers balked at the idea of footing the bill for a public street that would allow property owners to the south and west of their property access to Rt. 20.

Plans for the other two lots were not discussed at the meeting.

Planning commission was not asked for approval on the site plan, but rather was asked to review the plans, which it did. The next step in the process is for Tusing Builders and Coles Development to submit a final site plan for approval, which Handy expects soon.

Scott Mahoney can be reached at 440-775-1611 or @sm_mahoney on Twitter.

By Scott Mahoney