Village waiting on update concerning state revitalization district application

LISBON — In the nearly four weeks since Village Council was forced to rescind its application to have the downtown designated a state revitalization district, officials have yet to receive a new application from the owner of the building where the Scratch restaurant is located.

On July 25, council rescinded the legislation approving the application of Scratch owner Jason Geissinger after resident Herb Chesney pointed out the application to have the downtown designated a revitalization district has to be made by the building owner, not a tenant.

Geissinger wanted the designation because it would allow him to apply for a state liquor license for his restaurant and filed an application in April with Mayor Joseph Morenz. After holding the required public hearing, council approved the application on July 6 and was prepared to forward it to the Ohio Department of Commerce for consideration, only to reverse course when Chesney advised officials and the newspaper that state law requires the application be made by a building owner in the proposed revitalization district.

Anthony Sylvester owns the building on South Market Street where Scratch is located, and Morenz said Sylvester has not applied to have the downtown designated a revitalization district, nor has anyone else for that matter. He said the law prohibits the village from asking a property owner to apply.

Morenz said he was recently eating at Scratch and asked Geissinger whether his landlord intended to apply. He said Geissinger told him he has already applied to the state for a liquor license “and he told me he was going to wait and see what happens.”

“He’s got an attorney down there (Columbus), and they’re working on it, but I don’t know where they are in the process,” Morenz said.

Morenz is not sure what would happen should the liquor license be issued without a revitalization district designation in place, or if council would be asked to approve it.