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Published: Tuesday, 2/14/2006

Perrysburg Township delays zoning vote on Wal-Mart

After a contentious public hearing during which they were compared to Nazis, the Perrysburg Township Zoning Commission last night decided to delay a vote on a proposed Wal-Mart super center until March.

The commission told the engineering firm working with Wal-Mart Stores Inc. it wants to see more detailed plans for the project before making a recommendation to the township trustees. It asked the firm to address residents' concerns about traffic, light and sound pollution, and landscaping.

The 200,000-square-foot store would be on the north side of U.S. 20 and Simmons Road, near the Crossroads of America shopping center.

Despite residents' requests, the commission could not address whether the Wal-Mart should be allowed in the community. It can only consider whether the plans meet township zoning requirements, Vice Chairman Jeff Schaller said.

One area resident complained that all the commission could do was follow rules set by the elected trustees. "It's the same mentality used in 1938 Germany," Larry Baker said.

Kathleen Perry, a representative of the Heartland of Perrysburg nursing home, which is next to the site, asked the commission to ensure that the center's residents would be protected from light, sound, and traffic.

The commission agreed to continue the hearing until it has more detailed drawings that show the sound barrier and landscaping as well as a completed traffic study approved by the Ohio Department of Transportation.

"If they're serious about coming into the community, they'll be willing to dot their I's and cross their T's," commission member Jeffrey Normand said.

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