A contested plan to expand a Speedway gas station at Covington and Broadway is still in limbo after a 2-2 vote Tuesday from the Bowling Green City Commission.
With Commissioner Brian “Slim” Nash absent from the teleconferenced meeting, the move to approve the rezoning request failed to pass, but a second and binding vote would come at the Dec. 1 commission meeting.
In September, the City-County Planning Commission of Warren County recommended in an 8-3 vote to allow a rezoning request for the project. Ohio-based Speedway LLC is looking to expand its convenience store and gas station at 1220 Broadway Ave. with a 4,600-square-foot convenience store and 4,700-square-foot fueling canopy.
Speedway purchased the adjoining Danny Barron’s Auto Sales property at 1218 Broadway and residential lot at 1117 Covington St. The house there has been demolished for the project. The application presented by Speedway includes combining the 1218 and 1220 Broadway lots and the Covington lot into one 1.45-acre lot and rezoning it from general business and residential to highway business.
Some of the same residents who spoke against the rezoning request at the planning commission meeting reiterated their opposition at Tuesday’s city commission meeting while Speedway representatives also made their case.
Commissioners Joe Denning and Dana Beasley Brown spoke at length in Tuesday’s meeting about their concerns about the project, including traffic congestion and the encroachment of commercial zoning into an established neighborhood.
“We are not moving traffic through that light (at Covington and Broadway) now,” Denning said.
“We have to protect neighborhoods like this as we grow,” Beasley-Brown said.
Commissioner Sue Parrigin said she would vote for the rezoning in part because the planning commission members recommended the rezoning by a majority vote.
But Beasley-Brown responded that there is a reason final decisions are up to the city commission.
“We were elected to use our brains,” she said.
Denning and Beasley-Brown ultimately voted no on the rezoning request. Parrigin and Bowling Green Mayor Bruce Wilkerson voted yes.
Also Tuesday, commissioners approved adding language to city towing regulations regarding the use of car boots on vehicles illegally parked on private property.
City Attorney Hillary Hightower said a company in Bowling Green is using the boots instead of towing vehicles, leading to some complaints to the city.
The new language approved on a first reading would require companies using boots to place them on the driver’s side of the vehicle whenever possible. Hightower said some drivers have not seen boots on the passenger side of their vehicle and have attempted to drive off, resulting in damage to the boot and vehicle.
Also approved was requiring companies that use boots to put a flyer on the vehicle’s windshield outlining the policies by which the company must abide by.
A second and final reading of the new language is slated for the Dec. 1 meeting.
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