Firestone GCR Tire Centers, currently located in the 600 block of East Main Street, plans to locate northeast of town after more than one year of searching.
Zoning approval was recommended during last night’s Knox County Highway and Zoning Committee meeting. That item comes out of a hearing by the Knox County Zoning Board of Appeals on June 4th. Firestone supplies tires and other automotive wheel services.
The 1800 block of Knox County Highway 9 will serve as the new location according to County documents. That site was formerly the Landscape Solutions building.
Knox County Chief Assessment Officer Chris Gray says there were few problems with the zoning recommendation.
“Much of the area around the property is already zoned B-2 or M – which is industrial,” says Gray. “This was not creating any type of spot zoning, this property has been used as commercial property in the past, but the most recent one fell under a conditional use for an agriculture zoning district so it was able to stay zoned as it was.”
According to those same documents, the change is expected to increase revenue to the business and to Knox County. The City of Galesburg anticipated moves such as this, even holding a public hearing which included information on relocation assistance back in January of this year for those affected by the East Main Street Underpass project. The current Firestone building will be torn down during the underpass construction work.
Knox County is going through a bit of a change in its zoning reporting – which was on display last night – in the form of a “finding of fact.” According to the discussion, Firestone acted as a trial run of sorts. Gray says details on the procedure are still being worked out.
“I had sent them, the Zoning Board of Appeals, the questions that we were going to have to try to answer in the facts and findings and asked them to consider these questions as the hearings were going on about asking things, or thinking about things if it didn’t need to be asked,” says Gray.
Changing the land from an Agriculture Zoning to a Business/Highway was recommended unanimously.
The move may also create jobs in the moving process.