Little-used parking lots in the Wolf Creek neighborhood could soon host special events featuring food and retail vendors and other activities.
Dayton’s Board of Zoning Appeals recently approved a use variance application to allow surface lots at 1401 W. First St. and 1351 and 1401 W. Second St. to be used for assembly purposes.
Owner Mt. Enon Community Development Inc. envisions an outdoor marketplace and venue that can be used for health fairs and weddings and other special occasions.
“The area is definitely changing and we most definitely want to be a part of those changes,” Cory Pruitt, senior pastor with Mt. Enon Missionary Baptist Church, told this newspaper over the summer.
The group scrapped plans to host live music performances, which some neighbors opposed.
The project should bring food vendors to an area that has limited fresh food options, said Earl Reeder, an architect with Earl Reeder Associates Inc.
Mt. Enon is interested in a farmer’s market, with offerings similar to those at Five Rivers MetroParks’ popular 2nd Street Market, Reeder said.
“What they want to do with this piece of property is to provide a food source for the residents in that area,” he said.
The West Priority Land Use Board originally opposed the variance request, but later decided to support it once the application was modified, with permission for music events no longer being requested.
Tony Kroeger, Dayton’s division manager of planning and land use, said, “From a staff perspective, we find this to be a reasonable use of underutilized parking lots that are out there that offer nothing to the surrounding area at this time.”
Wolf Creek also is being targeted for 30 new affordable rental homes, though a member of the Dayton Plan Board has raised concerns about what he called an oversaturation of low-income housing in that area.