Petco location

Petco is looking to build a new store at 1630 Coshocton Ave. in Mount Vernon., according to documents filed with the city.

MOUNT VERNON -- An international pet retailer with more than 1,500 locations has submitted plans to build a new store in Mount Vernon.

Petco has filed documents with the City of Mount Vernon that reflect a desire to open a new location at 1630 Coshocton Ave., the vacant lot that sits between Bob Evans and a shopping center that contains six businesses, including Verizon and Universal Dermatology & Vein Care.

The company is scheduled to appear before the city's Board of Zoning Appeals on Jan. 5 to request a zoning variance that would allow it to build 44 parking spots on the property – 29 fewer than what would be required by city code for a building that size.

The new store will be 10,900 square feet, according to documents filed with the city, and the city's zoning code requires retail stores to have one parking spot per 150 square feet of floor space.

Petco – through its contractor, Embree Development Group – has stated in documents filed with the city that 73 parking spots will not be necessary and that requiring this many spaces could complicate development on the property. The company is expecting to have 25 to 35 customers per hour at peak times, along with six to 10 customers in the store at a time, and 10 associates working during those times.

"Our client does not anticipate this many patrons at a time," Embree stated. "Additional land would need to be purchased to meet the city’s parking requirements as the property does not have the capacity to accommodate for the current parking constraint."

Embree added that Petco is "releasing a nationwide program that consists of a 10,900 square foot prototype building in the areas in which they plan on developing." If the city holds true to its retail parking space requirement, and does not grant a variance, Embree implied Petco would not be able to build on the property.

"To meet the (zoning) requirement, the building would have to downsize and this would not meet Petco’s business model," Embree stated. "The building contains 10,900 square feet of floor space which would require seventy-three parking spaces; however, per coordination with the client this constraint is excessive."

Embree will make its case on behalf of Petco to the BZA on Jan. 5 at 5:30 p.m.

It's unclear when Petco plans to build and open its new Mount Vernon location. The company did not respond to requests for comment this week.

Site plans submitted to the city show that Petco would share an access road with Bob Evans. The road is already built and serves as the restaurant's entrance. It's unclear whether the road will eventually be extended and connected to the Danbury Senior Living community that is being built on Venture Drive.

The property at 1630 Coshocton Ave. is currently owned by "FRS RE LLC," according to records from the Knox County auditor's office. It was transferred from "Frisch's Restaurants Inc." in 2016. Frisch's bought the property for $525,000 in 2011.

Petco currently operates more than 1,500 locations in the U.S., Mexico and Puerto Rico, according to its website. This includes a "growing network of more than 100 in-store veterinary hospitals," its website states.

The San Diego-based company, which was founded in 1965, offers a wide array of pet care products and services in its stores. The closest Petco stores to Knox County are currently found in Heath, Westerville and Easton Town Center in Columbus.

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Staff Reporter

Grant is a 2018 graduate of Ohio Northern University, where he studied journalism and played basketball. He likes coffee, books and minor league baseball. He loves telling stories and has a passion for local news.