RUSSELL — Two sites at the intersection of Chillicothe (Route 306) and Kinsman (Route 87) roads soon will look different. They include the Circle K and the Shell gas station properties.
Plans for Circle K have gone through lengthy zoning reviews and include a larger store along with the addition of gas pumps.
In addition, changes are underway for the existing gas station at the southwest corner of the intersection, across from Russell Town Hall.
Russell residents Steve and Kristin Gaetjens have been leasing the building, running their business on the property owned by the Tanner family trust. Mr. Gaetjens said they have signed a purchase agreement to buy the property which is three-quarters of an acre.
“We will be a Sunoco station,” Mr. Gaetjens said of the changes to be made. They will be remodeling and putting in new equipment including a new restroom. The property is tied into a Geauga County sewer line.
Gas stations in the township are a conditional use in that area zoned for commercial services, according to the township zoning office. All changes to the property will have to go through the township zoning process.
The highlight, Mr. Gaetjens said, is that the property is being sold by the family, which has owned it for four generations, “And it is a great opportunity for us.” They will be providing a service to the community, he said. “We intend to provide more specific things that aren’t offered at Circle K,” he said.
They will be moving into the former mechanical bays, Mr. Gaetjens said, adding that they will be applying for the zoning to switch to a store.
Mr. Gaetjens said he favors commercial development and is not opposed to the Circle K expansion. “I’m excited about economic development in our township and I’m excited about doing this.” They had water issues and had struggled for two years to move forward. “Everything has been a struggle. I am thankful the Tanners are letting us develop the property,” he said.
Russell Township Zoning Inspector Shane Wrench said his office just received the updates and modifications to the revised plan for the Circle K development. He is currently waiting for Carmella Shale, director and engineer of the Geauga Soil and Water Conservation District, to complete her review of the plans for water management and sediment control.
She said there are seven to eight points involving erosion that needed to be addressed. It is expected that there will be less water runoff from the site than there is now because measures are being taken to prevent it.
Mr. Wrench said he must receive Ms. Shale’s report before issuing any permits. Circle K has revised the original prints submitted and changes are needed, however, the plan is still moving forward. No start date has been given for the project, he said.
The Russell board of Zoning Appeals had approved a conditional use permit for the property to be used as a gas station and food service along with other area variances.
The plans called for signage of the gas pumps and they are removing them. Mr. Wrench noted the site plan must match the latest variances.
A start date for the project has not been given by Circle K. It was not known when the buildings are to be taken down. They still have not transferred ownership, according to Geauga County records. The buildings include a vacant structure once used for a veterinarian clinic and a former bank building that is being used for physical training.
Ms. Shale said Circle K just submitted its second site plan. She is reviewing the design, water management and sediment control and the plan will also be sent to a consultant for review. “We make sure the design meets the regulations for storm-water management.”
The driveways off Chillicothe Road (Route 306) and Kinsman (Route 87) roads had to be reviewed and approved by the Ohio Department of Transportation.
Demolition of the former veterinarian clinic and the bank could come as soon as December, clearing the way for site work on the land.
Circle K is planning to construct a new building of approximately 4,488 square feet which will face east, opposite of the current direction it faces now, toward Chillicothe Road. The development involves about 1.6 acres. Several signs are proposed for the property.
Robert Wellert, civil engineer representing Circle K, has said the plans include two ground signs with one facing Chillicothe Road and one facing Kinsman Road.