In The News

Plans move forward for Cabelas in Butler County

July 22, 2014  |  Cabela's

Journal News


A new retail development with the potential for over 220 jobs has gained preliminary approval from the West Chester Zoning Commission.

Following a nearly three-hour discussion on a proposed 75,143-square-foot Cabela’s at 7536 Liberty Way, the zoning commission approved with a 3-2 vote a preliminary development plan submitted in June by Great Traditions Land & Development Company in Sharonville.

The development plan also details a 40,000-square-foot general office building and three 6,000-square-foot high-turnover, sit-down restaurants on the 18-acre site.

But that preliminary approval is dependent on several items that will be required in the final development plan, said Bryan Behrmann, township planner, including recommendations from a traffic impact study by the Butler County Engineer’s Office.

The final development plan is up for a vote Aug. 18 by the zoning commission.

Prior to the vote Monday, commission members expressed being “torn” due to not having results from the traffic impact study. Jim Williams and Jim Hahn, the commission’s chairman and vice chairman respectively, were the two votes against approval of the plan.

The Butler County Engineer’s Office is currently conducting a traffic impact study using peak traffic patterns on weekdays and weekends at the Cabela’s store in Louisville, Ky. The results are expected in early August and could include intersection alternatives for Preserve Place and Tylers Place Boulevard.

About 2,300 to 2,800 cars per day come through the Louisville location, according to Great Traditions.

The proposed traffic pattern for the West Chester site includes two access points off Tylers Place Boulevard and a right-in/right-out entrance off Liberty Way, Behrmann said.

One of those access points is directly across from the entrance to housing subdivision The Preserve at Wetherington, where a four-way stop is proposed.

Gary Rimington, real estate manager at Cabela’s, said he anticipates the location would attract visitors from a 120-mile radius.

Rimington said the location would create between 150 and 220 jobs, and be a total investment of between $22 million and $30 million.

More than 10 residents made public comments Monday on the Cabela’s development.

Residents of The Preserve, as well as legal representation they hired, made comments against the proposed traffic plan for the site. But the group was clear in stating it’s not against the Cabela’s development itself.

“There’s no question about Cabela’s and Great Traditions, but we see the elephant in the room as the intersection of Tylers Place and Preserve,” said Kevin Cox, president of the homeowners association at The Preserve. “We have a right to the serenity of our streets.”

Attorney Tim Mara said Cabela’s locations are known to generate more traffic than the average development or big-box store.

“Cabela’s has an enthusiastic following that routinely beats a path to their door,” Mara said. “The residents of Preserves will be competing with traffic coming to and from Cabela’s. These people are in for one heck of a tough road and a dangerous road.”

Other residents expressed safety concerns with the nearby Lakota schools and bus stops, as well as the fear their neighborhood will become an “overflow parking lot” for Cabela’s.

“Taking a left out of our neighborhood as it’s projected is a pretty scary thing; I’m sure it can be done right … but on paper the way it looks is disheartening,” said Tim Marklay of Preserve Place.

This would be the second Cabela’s location in Ohio for the direct marketer and specialty retailer of hunting, fishing, camping, shooting and related outdoor recreation merchandise. A Columbus location opened in March 2013.

“It’s very high-end, upscale flavor from the exterior,” said Thomas Humes, president and chief executive officer of Great Traditions. “We’re right at the line between Liberty Twp. and West Chester and this is really the gateway to West Chester as you’re coming to the south.”