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Gas station plan riles Marshall residents

| Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Giant Eagle Inc.'s plan to turn a Kings Family Restaurant property into a gas station/convenience store is meeting with opposition from some Marshall residents and business owners concerned about an increase in traffic.

The plan was discussed on Tuesday during a sometimes heated meeting of the Marshall Planning Commission, which tabled a vote on whether to recommend that township supervisors approve the site plan and conditional use application.

“I can't in good conscience vote for this,” Planning Commission Chairman Jeff Davison said.

Kings has entered into a sales agreement with Giant Eagle for the restaurant on VIP Drive, near its intersection with Route 910 and the Wexford interchange of Interstate 79, township and Giant Eagle officials said.

Representatives from White Oak-based Kings couldn't be reached for comment.

Giant Eagle wants to demolish the restaurant and replace it with a GetGo gas station with 16 gas pumps and a convenience store, said attorney William Sittig Jr., who represents the O'Hara-based grocer. Giant Eagle has proposed adding a dedicated right-turn lane from VIP Drive onto Wexford-Bayne Road, or Route 910.

“That right-turn lane more than mitigates the traffic from our development,” said Pasquale “Pat” Avolio, director of real estate development at Giant Eagle.

During the meeting, several Marshall residents and owners of businesses near the Kings restaurant said the proposed road improvements would be insufficient and that Giant Eagle's traffic projections for the GetGo are too low.

“I think the developer is severely understating the traffic congestion attributable to the truck delivery traffic, and the gas haulers trying to get up that road and trying to get into the entrance,” said Thomas Weir, who owns a shopping center, T-Bones Plaza, across from the restaurant and the T-Bones Marketplace grocery and BP gas station there.

The planning commission asked Giant Eagle to conduct a traffic study based on traffic counts from an existing GetGo of similar size. It also asked Giant Eagle to consider reducing the number of planned gas pumps to eliminate the need for a variance and improve vehicle circulation at the site, said Nicole Zimsky, Marshall's planning director.

The next planning commission meeting is scheduled for Nov. 5.

There are 31 Kings Family Restaurant locations in Pennsylvania and one in Ohio. The restaurant in Marshall still is in operation.

Tory N. Parrish is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-380-5662 or tparrish@tribweb.com.

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