Despite opposition from neighbors, a new Sheetz gas station and convenience store could soon be built near a residential community.
Planning Commissioners approved the rezoning for a 6-acre lot on the corner of North New Hope and Buffaloe roads. The proposed rezoning would change the property from Residential-6 to Neighborhood Business Conditional Use and allow for the construction of a Sheetz gas station and convenience store.
The application was approved in a 5-3 vote with Commissioners Eric Braun, Steven Schuster, Quince Fleming, Erin Sterling-Lewis, and Isabel Mattox voting in support.
Commissioners Marvin Butler, Adam Terando, and Mitch Fluhrer voted in opposition.
The applicant added three conditions to the proposal to help ease the concerns of both area residents and Planning Commissioners. These new conditions state that no more than 12 fueling stations will be allowed and fueling canopies will not be backlit with the exception of signage.
Residents and Commissioners requested that the applicant, Dean Marion, consider limiting the hours of operations, but Sheetz representatives would not agree. Other development on the property will have limited hours, but Sheetz will remain open 24 hours.
These conditions did little to ease the concerns of area residents.
“My bedroom faces that property, which lies higher than my property,” said Dan Giddens, a resident of the adjacent neighborhood. He said that a 6-foot fence, which would separate his property from the gas station, would do little to block the light and the traffic.
Joe Johnson, another area resident, also voiced his disapproval.
“I’m told the developer may limit the total number of fuel pumps.” he said. “Whether it’s one pump or 12 pumps the message we’re sending is we don’t feel like that a gas station is an appropriate fit for this corner.”
Most of the Commissioners admitted ambivalence on the project.
Fluhrer did not support the proposed rezoning.
“I think the long-term sustainability of this area is being sacrificed for short-term focus.” he said. “I don’t think you are going to achieve a unique sense of place in the community with this type of development.”
Mattox acknowledged the difficulty of the case, but looked to the 2030 Comprehensive Plan when deciding to support the rezoning.
“It is a very troubling case.” she said. “It is a difficult case, but I have to look at the Comp Plan. That is the plan laid out for our City.”
The full City Council will vote on the application at its next regular meeting.
Proposal to Subdivide Property on Temple Street Approved
Commissioners also voted to approve a request to subdivide a half-acre piece of land into two lots. The property is located on Temple Street, west of the intersection with Dixon Drive. Vanderbilt Homes, the property owners, plan to construct housing that will blend with the surrounding residential area.