Vermillion voters will decide fate of Casey’s

Vermillion voters will decide fate of Casey's by David Lias Citizens residing in Vermillion will be doing something rather unique on Nov. 7.

They not only will be helping to decide the outcome of the presidential race, several local and state contests, and the fate of several state referendums and an initiative, but Vermillion citizens also will be voting to decide whether a new gas station can be located at the corner of Cherry and Dakota Streets.

Last spring, by a vote of 6-2, the Vermillion City Council agreed to change the zoning of three lots on the southwest corner of the intersection of Dakota and Cherry Streets from residential to commercial.

The owner of the lots, Jeanette Stone, has entered into a purchase agreement with Casey's. She and personnel from the chain of convenience stores first addressed the council with this matter April 17, presenting the city with a petition for a zoning change.

Judging by comments made at the time by some people at the city council meeting, the idea of Casey's wanting to build a new gas station and convenience store here is a sign of progress. It's a notion that everyone on the council, except for Mayor William Radigan and Alderman Barbara Yelverton, apparently find acceptable.

Residents of Dakota Street, however, see the construction of a gas station at the intersection as the start of a potential erosion of their neighborhood.

They have challenged the Casey's proposal by circulating petitions to refer the city council's decision to a public vote Nov. 7.

Supporters of Casey's note that Cherry Street has developed into one of the city's major commercial areas.

Opponents, however, believe Stone's lot should maintain its residential zoning.

"We're talking about should the law be changed for one person?" said George Horner, who resides at 414 N. Dakota speaking in opposition to the zoning change last April. "We are spot zoning, which is not supposed to be permitted. It's supposed to be by entire areas or districts."

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