Outlet Mall Plans Raise Concerns
Updated: Thursday, April 25 2013, 06:29 AM EDT
DELAWARE, OH -- Neighbors have now heard from two different companies proposing outlet malls for the area near the I-71 interchange with US 36/SR 37, and apparently aren't sold on either plan.
That's after a private meeting Wednesday night between residents and representatives from Simon Malls and Tanger Outlets.
Simon's plans have changed since the company made its announcement last year. At the time, the company planned to put its outlets on the southwest quadrant of the interchange, essentially behind the Cracker Barrel restaurant there. Late last week, the company submitted a plan with Delaware County officials to put the shops on the southeast quadrant. A company spokesman told ABC 6 News the change is due to problems on the site with power lines and a creek that cuts across the property.
That new property is adjacent to the site proposed by Simon's main rival for an outlet mall. Developer Pat Shivley has teamed up with Craig Realty on an outlet proposal of its own. The developers have already been before the Berkshire Township Zoning Board, which tabled the company's zoning request at a meeting last month. About 150 neighbors showed up at that meeting with about a dozen speaking out against the mall.
ABC 6 was kicked out of the private meeting on Wednesday, but neighbors said the Simon/Tanger group got a warmer reception than the Shivley/Craig group -- but only slightly.
"Some people were adamantly opposed to it," said Linda Ringler. "They don't want any development at all," she said.
Ringler said the biggest concern continues to be traffic, both at the interchange and on back roads. Neighbors fear shoppers will flood roads like South Galena to avoid traffic at I-71 and 36/37.
Folks who live here say they worry development is coming to the area, whether they want it or not.
"It seems like a freight train heading toward us," said Booth Muller.
The Simon/Tanger proposal goes to the county planning commission which could forward the company's zoning change request to the township zoning board -- the same board considering the zoning request from the Shivley/Craig group.
Reporter: Tom Bosco