Archbold, OH

Bar-Restaurant Approved By Zoning Board

The Archbold Zoning Board of Appeals approved a variance for a proposed bar-restaurantcoffee house and music venue, which Dan and Cheryl Storrer, rural Archbold, plan to create in the former Stotzer Hardware building.

The action came at the Thursday, Aug. 16, board meeting.

The building, on the corner of North Defiance and East Holland streets, was a hardware store operated by Rick Stotzer, Archbold, until the end of 2006. The operation had been continuously operated by the Stotzer family for 148 years.

Max Smith, Jr., and his wife, Amy, rural Archbold, purchased the building earlier this year, with the intention of keeping WMTR, the radio station Smith Jr. manages upstairs, and renting the ground floor.

However, Carma Grime, village zoning inspector, said the village zoning code states that when a building goes through a change of use, it creates a change in the number of patrons, and off-street parking must be provided.

“We have to look at the parking situation,” Grime said.

Tim Smith, zoning board of appeals member, said at one time the parking situation downtown was an issue.

But, he said, “A lot of problems have been solved since the Farmers & Merchants State Bank moved about 40 employees out of downtown.”

F&M built an operations center at the intersection of West Barre Road and Clyde’s Way, which relocated the employees.

Grime said since the Subway sandwich shop moved out of downtown and a Samuel Mancino’s restaurant opened on South Defiance Street, more traffic has been pulled out of downtown.

“It appears to me there’s plenty of parking,” Smith said.

Grime said in a later interview that the village had determined years ago that there was ample downtown parking, when Ickey’s restaurant was built and Mom’s Diner opened in a former retail space.

The board voted unanimously to grant the variance, allowing the Storrers to operate their bar and restaurant without providing off-street parking.

In connection with the parking issue, Smith asked that signs be posted around the downtown area, identifying which parking lots are municipally owned.

He also called for an October meeting with the village planning commission to consider revisions to the village zoning code.- David Pugh

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