- By Lawrence Budd Staff Writer
Development that is at least in part sparked by an $8.2 million road project continues in this crossroads town south of Springboro.
The latest project to surface involves a Tipp City-based oil company planning to build a new gas station and convenience store on the northeast corner of Ohio 741 and Ohio 122-Ohio 123, the center of Red Lion.
The change began not long after the five-points intersection in Red Lion was reconstructed through the Ohio Department of Transportation.
The project, designed to improve safety, forced the relocation of Mom’s Restaurant, altered the corner where the station is to sit and created a new intersection, east of the town center.
Red Lion is part of Clearcreek Twp.,Warren County.
Last week, the township’s Board of Zoning Appeals approved a variance sought by lawyer Tom Eagle on behalf of Ray Patrick, an agent for Pap Oil Co.
The variance allows Pap to build the canopy covering the new gas pumps to be set back 24 feet from the road, rather than 50 feet, as otherwise required by the township regulations.
It also clears the way for demolition of existing structures for the gas station and convenience store previously operated there. This closed when United Dairy Farmers opened a new station and store on the intersection’s southwest corner.
“There was perceived to be a need for an upgrade and modernization of the facility,” said Eagle.
A new gas station and store are to be built on the corner. Plans are being developed, said Eagle, whose office is just south of the intersection.
The 0.7-acre project adjoins Country Creek, a new 150-acre subdivision planned by Oberer Land Development, fronting on Ohi0 741, heading north toward Springboro, and Ohio 122-123, eastbound toward Ohio 48, north of Lebanon.
Planning for future development is part of the purpose for a land-use planning process underway for Red Lion and Hunter, a town along Ohio 122 in neighboring Franklin Twp.
“The Hunter-Red Lion area is known as a rural, family-friendly area of Warren County retaining a town and country sense of community with abundant green space; carefully planned communities; quality parks; and streets where pedestrians and motorists safely co-exist,” the group’s mission statement begins.
Among the ideas proposed was a loop road, bypassing the central intersection and proposed downtown area, featuring restaurants and other retail, and opening up more land along the loop for development.
Now the plan calls for a road, leading from Ohio 741 north of the center of town to Ohio 123, creating the proposed downtown area, said Paul Pomeroy, a member of a steering committee working on the plan.
“There’s excitement in the air,” said Paul Pomeroy, a resident with 47 acres in the Red Lion area. “It’s going to change the character of this area.”
Warren County Regional Planning staff and a steering committee met with county sewer officials about options for sewers needed before a downtown area can be developed in Red Lion.
“It might not be a sleepy town for much longer,” Eagle said.
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