A Niles company called IN LLC has received a building permit from Trumbull County to start construction of a gas station and convenience store on Route 62 in Masury, just north of a gas station and convenience store that is being built by Salam Elwanni.
While Elwanni said she believes there is something fishy going on with the issuance of the permit, it appears IN LLC has more procedural hoops to jump through before starting construction is feasible.
Nasar Alwanni of IN LLC declined to talk about the project.
Elwanni and Jenetta Christy, general manager of Elwanni’s project and the Brookfield Drive Thru, which Elwanni also owns, said they thought the competing project was dead after the consolidation of lots for the IN LLC project went through the Trumbull County Planning Commission. At that time, Brookfield Township opposed a request from IN LLC that they be able to use Dutch Lane, an alley, as a second access to the property.
Township trustees and county Engineer Randy Smith raised safety concerns related to site distance, the width of the road, especially as to its use by trucks, and increased traffic.
The planning commission put a note on the official replat that consolidated the lots that Dutch Lane is not to be used, but Green noted that the county has no enforcement power in a scenario where IN LLC tries to go ahead and use Dutch Lane anyway. Dutch Lane is owned by Brookfield Township, and it would be up to the trustees to block access to Dutch Lane, such as by erecting barriers, if they wanted to go that far, Green said.
“We’re being very cautious with it,” said Brookfield Trustee Dan Suttles. “We’re trying to get some legal advice and we don’t know if we can block that access or if we can vacate the road, and then block the ends. We don’t want to appear to be opposed to any business, but our concerns were safety.”
The building permit comes with 18 conditions, one of which requires the developer to comply with codes concerning site accessibility and “accessible route.”
IN LLC will need to obtain a permit from the Ohio Department of Transportation to be able to use Route 62 to get into and off of the property, Green said. ODOT also would tell the developers where to put their openings, she said.
ODOT spokesman Justin Chesnic said Dec. 30 that IN LLC has not requested a permit for access to Route 62.
While Suttles said ODOT officials in the past have stated that they would not grant access to Route 62 unless there was a secondary access to the property, Green said she did not believe ODOT would deny the developers access to Route 62.
“They’ll give them access,” she said. “If they don’t, that would basically make their property worthless. I just don’t see that happening.”