Neighbors speak out against Costco in Perrysburg - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Neighbors speak out against Costco in Perrysburg

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The City of Perrysburg is in the works of getting its first big box store, but not all residents are on board.

Costco wants to move into the southeast corner of Dixie Highway and Eckel Junction Road. 

City Council has already approved the preliminary plan.

But Thursday night some nearby home and business owners spoke out against the membership-only warehouse store setting up shop in that location.

Most of the people say they have memberships at the Costco in Toledo at Central and Secor.  They'd welcome a Costco in Perrysburg, just not at that specific spot.

"What is happening to Perrysburg? It's losing its uniqueness," says Carol Shepard who lives in a neighborhood off of Eckel Junction Road across the street from the proposed Costco location in Perrysburg.

More than a dozen residents spoke out against the big box store at a public hearing on Thursday night.

"Please do not turn a blind eye because you're being dazzled by increased tax revenues to the city or the creation of new jobs," Larry Small who lives across the street from the proposed Costco.

They told council members it will hurt their property values and create a traffic nightmare.

"We already have a difficult time getting out of our subdivision and I can't imagine what is going to happen when this is built," says Lori Reffert who lives in Meadow Creek Subdivision.

Walt Churchill of Walt Churchill's Market in the Shops at River Place says his problem is the proximity to 475 and traffic backing up on the expressway.

"They're good merchants. There's no question about that," says Walt Churchill. "They're what I would call a destination store, kind of like a woman's hair dresser, you're going to go there no matter how far it is. They draw from 35, 60 miles. But they have another Costco on the other side of town."

"I want Costco," says Dave Kienzle, the owner of the Shops at River Place. 

Kienzle supports the new business neighbor at that location, saying it's better than some other big box chains.

"It's not going to stay a horse farm," says Kienzle. "We all have a chance to buy it. We didn't buy it. And it's going to be something. I think we've got a good alternative."

City leaders say there are plans to widen the road, add turn lanes, and a traffic signal to help minimize traffic congestion.

Perrysburg City Council and the Planning Commission both plan to have their final votes on the Costco proposal by the end of March.

"I think overall when you look at Costco in its totality, I think it's a good thing for the city," says Perrysburg Mayor Mike Olmstead. "I understand these concerns the residents in that area have. Believe me, we're working very hard to ensure that we have the best possible scenario for them and everyone."

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