Kettering jeweler to expand parking lot into neighborhood

Kettering City Council has approved the rezoning of a lot east of James Free Jewelers on Cushing Avenue that would allow the business to add additional parking.

The city’s planning commission had recommended council approve the rezoning, and council this week voted in favor five to two, said Kettering City Manager Mark Schwieterman.

Operators of James Free Jewelers, 3100 Far Hills Ave., have said the store needs to expand its parking lot to remain viable.

“Everybody likes to have convenience, and we’d like to do that for our customers,” said Michael Karman, owner of the jeweler’s Kettering location. “If a customer comes and there’s no parking…he’s going to go somewhere else.”

The council’s decision has changed the zoning for the property in question, 100 Cushing Ave., from residential to business.

The jewelry store plans to demolish the home on the property, which it owns, and add an additional 10 parking spaces for customers.

Some residents have opposed the plan, saying it is invading their neighborhood.

“We’re not very thrilled about the idea,” said Jeff Moore, who lives next to the Cushing Avenue property. “This is a residential neighborhood, and now all of a sudden they’re creeping in to people’s property here.”

Schwieterman said James Free Jewelers must now present plans for the redevelopment of the land before any construction can begin.