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OK given for second O'Reilly Auto Parts
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O'Reilly Auto Parts' quest to open a second store in Ceres was met with nodding heads on the Ceres Planning Commission last week.

The panel gave a 4-0 approval for a site plan for a 7,453-square-foot store to be constructed directly north of the new Rite Aid pharmacy on Mitchell Road north of Fowler Road.

O'Reilly's original architectural and color scheme did not fit within the perimeters of the Mitchell Road Corridor Specific Plan which sets a higher standard for appearances of buildings. The company modified their renderings which were approved on Tuesday, Jan. 17, said Associate Planner James Michaels with the city of Ceres.

The chain plans to keep its existing store at 1354 E. Hatch Road according to Jeremy Bass of O'Reilly Auto Parts corporate office in Springfield, Mo.

The new store would be a stone's throw away from an Auto Zone store. However, the city does not have restrictions on the proximity of similar type of uses, said Michaels, with the exception of adult book stores.

Planners said the store would not be allowed its own driveway access off of Mitchell Road but instead customers and truck deliveries would have access through two driveways servicing Rite Aid; or through the signalized ingress/egress at the strip mall shopping center north of the project site.

City officials originally hoped that the northeast corner of Mitchell and Fowler roads - which once belonged to the city - would attract a sit-down family style restaurant. Efforts to market the corner to such chains as Hungry Hunter, Applebee's and TGI Fridays failed to generate any interest with many noting they want freeway visibility.

The city owned the site to develop part of it for a fire station. The access property was sold to a developer. A Rite Aid opened on the corner last year.

O'Reilly Automotive, Inc. is expanding in the Valley. It's one of the largest retailers of automotive aftermarket parts, tools, supplies, equipment and accessories in the United States, serving both the do-it-yourself and professional service provider markets. Founded in 1957 by the O'Reilly family, the company operated 3,707 stores in 39 states as of fall.

The Planning Commission was minus a member last week. However, the vacancy, created when Mike Kline was elected to the Ceres City Council, was filled Monday night by the council. Members tapped Dave Chapman, a probation officer, to fill the slot.

Five persons applied for the appointment. Kline said Chapman was "well deserving" of the appointment but cast the lone vote against Chapman.

Chapman will be installed at the Feb. 6 commission meeting.