allow a dollar store at First & Main?

Depends on the year and governance: Perhaps in the 1930s when it was a growing village and in compliance with zoning laws.

Stow allows a dollar store, Fishcreek and Stow Roads, which allegedly does not lend itself to an attractive, beautiful community, a friendly place close to home where people, if they wish, gather to socialize. Before the dollar store, people who wish to gather on the site would be advised to wear hiking gear and contend with burrs stuck on their outfits.

The view of two service stations and a vacant parcel of land in the vicinity of a dollar store remain unchanged: beautiful or blighted?

Shame on Stow, stuck on the "dollar store rut," unlike Hudson, Cuyahoga Falls, Tallmadge and Kent.

Commonly stated, the perception of beauty or blight lies in the eyes of the beholder. Viewed in the eyes of private investors, building on private property zoned for business is a beautiful thing, yet subject to loss if the business fails.

Owners of private property who build or occupy or lease private property in compliance with the zoning code and meet the health, safety, and the welfare of community standards, do so with knowledge their property cannot be taken for private use. If taken for a public use -- eminent domain -- just compensation must be awarded.

Stow approved Marhofer's rezoning application, a win for Marhofer's commercial interest, a bone of contention for nearby residents wary of the effect on the value of their property.

Zoning laws evolve. Today, environmental standards, whether residential or commercial, increase the cost of compliance, which by design attempt to balance the community's interest against the private sector.

If an investor was persuaded an ice cream shop or a coffee-doughnut shop is feasible, Dollar General would have built elsewhere.

Jim Skeese, Stow