The Archbold Planning Commission voted to recommend that Kevin and Janet Knierim be allowed to change their rental banquet hall into a retail marketplace during its Monday, April 22 meeting.
The final decision rests with Archbold Village Council, which will consider the change in one of two public hearings set for 7 pm, Monday, June 3, in council chambers.
The other public hearing is for the rezoning of property owned by Tri-Flo, Inc. on the east side of the village.
The APC discussion of that recommendation was detailed in last week’s issue of this newspaper. Conversion
Kevin Knierim told APC he and his wife have owned the building at 102 Monumental Street since 2008.
Formerly part of the nowdefunct Quality Graphics, the Knierims were granted a non-conforming use to allow the rental hall operation in an area zoned R-2, medium density residential.
K. Knierim told the commission they plan to rent booth space inside the 3,000 square-foot hall to individual vendors.
Vendors could man their own booths, or have the Knierims handle sales.
If the vendor’s booth began running low on stock, the Knierims would contact the vendor for restocking.
Revenue from sales would go to the vendors, who would then handle their own sales taxes. Each will need to have a vendor license.
Most vendors would offer craft items. For them, the advantage of the hall over a craft show is not having to constantly move merchandise in and out of shows.
So far, the Kneirims report they have 20 vendors interested in renting space. The total number of booths available would depend on the square footage needs of the vendors.
For example, K. Knierim said one woman was interested in selling rag rugs. All she would need would be a six-foot ladder. The rugs would be draped over the rungs.
Hours of operation would be 10 am to 6 pm Monday through Friday, and 10 am to 2 pm Saturdays.
K. Knierim said he thought neighbors might prefer the marketplace concept to the rental hall, “with DJs slammin’ tunes until midnight.”
There are more than 44 parking spaces around the building, K. Knierim said.
When asked about traffic, K. Knierim said two similar operations in downtown Napoleon have good traffic.
He said he does not as- sume a lot of people would shop in the building at any one time.
If council approves the retail marketplace concept, the Knierims said they will open the building as a marketplace in July, and continue through the Christmas season.
Patrick Wyse, Archbold, said he owns two homes in the neighborhood.
He said the Knierims have their building up for sale.
He said he was concerned that if the retail marketplace conditional use is granted to the Knierims, the building could be sold, and a new operation could open under that designation.
“That could leave the door open to quite a few things,” he said.
But the Knierims said the conditional use only applies to them. If a new owner wanted to do business in the R-2 area, he would have to obtain his own conditional use.
That, they said, would be spelled out in the sales contract.
Don Spohler moved, and Doug Rupp seconded, the motion to recommend the change in conditional use to council. The motion passed unanimously.
The commission also decided by consensus to recommend renaming the Murbach Street extension Short Street.
Carma Grime, village planning-zoning inspector, explained the county Global Information System office requires the village to state address numbers on the street, which extends about 500 feet from Co. Rd. 22.
It connects with Summerfield Drive, which runs south to Tri-Flo, Inc.
Originally, plans called for the extension to extend to the west, turn south, and link with the present east end of Murbach Street.
However, those plans never developed.
Now, Grime said, it would make no sense to continue the Murbach Street name, because the extension will not connect with the original Murbach Street.
Spohler suggested naming the street Springbrook Lane, to go along with Summerfield Drive.
Doug Rupp proposed naming the street Erie Street, in honor of Erie Sauder, founder of Sauder Woodworking.
He noted the street is near the Erie Distribution Center.
Grime suggested Short Street.
Jim Wyse, Archbold mayor and a commission member, said it would honor the late Lowell Short, who developed several subdivisions within the village.