Unity gas station, store plans await traffic study
By Stacey Federoff
Published: Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Developers of a Unity property have bought land near the Inn at Mountain View and want to build a gas station and convenience store, but they must conduct a study addressing concerns about increased traffic.
Two engineers representing Speedway gas stations came before the board last week to get a site plan, conditional use and lot consolidation plan considered for the 4.2 acres at the intersection of Route 30 and Village Drive.
Donald Hultberg and Glenn Wolfe explained the plans for the convenience store with eight gas pumps and two diesel islands.
Speedway LLC, headquartered outside Dayton, Ohio, is the nation's fourth-largest company-owned and -operated convenience store chain, according to the company website. The subsidiary of Marathon Petroleum Corp. has about 1,460 stores in seven states.
The gas station would use underground gasoline tanks and would not include auto repair, Hultberg said.
Planning commission members addressed a number of concerns, including additional traffic, which was a point of concern in a previous developer's plan at the site.
Township supervisors ruled in May 2011 to require Jada View LLC to build access roads from Frye Farm Road and Village Drive to two of the six lots at the same property as Speedway.
Jada View appealed the decision, which was partially upheld by Commonwealth Court in September 2011.
That plan included office, retail and restaurant space on two different lots from the proposed Speedway. The Jada View proposal was estimated to add between 2,500 and 3,000 vehicle trips to the plaza.
Speedway representatives are working with the state Department of Transportation, Westmoreland Count Public Works and the township road department to develop a traffic study that would determine a new total.
Solicitor Gary Falatovich said developers considering additions to the remaining lot would be alerted to the Jada View court decision.
“Whatever that lot as developed as is going to have an impact on the way traffic is generated and whatever traffic is going to be filtered onto Village Drive,” he said.
In a separate matter, Speedway requested the subdivisions from previously planned development be consolidated from two lots into one for the purpose of building the gas station.
The board approved that recommendation for further consideration by township supervisors.
Stormwater, erosion and municipal authority plans still must be approved for the gas station, and those were addressed by the planning commission.
The plans for the gas station interconnect to a rear parking lot from the Inn at Mountain View, which would be improved with the Speedway construction, Hultberg said.
Engineers did not have a written agreement, but they have discussed the site plan with the property owner Tom Marflak.
“I can tell you we met with Mr. Marflak and walked the entire site and had this site plan with us,” Hultberg said. “He's all for this.”
As a part of the site plan, a partially redacted agreement of sale between Jada View and Speedway was also missing.
The large dirt mound on the property is planned to be modified to limit headlight beams to neighboring properties, but improve sight-distance issues, Hultberg explained.
“There's a lot of people in this community that don't like that mound,” he said.
Some light may be permitted to spill onto the neighboring properties from the gas station because there are no homes in the area, said township engineer Dan Schmitt.
“It's been our concern of light spillages where commercial abuts the residential areas, but given that fact, there's commercial (properties) on the sides, I think it's a good thing as far as light being dispersed,” he said.
Hultberg said Marflak has agreed that light from the gas station would benefit his adjoining property.
Engineers will also have to appear before the zoning hearing board to address signage issues.
The store is a permitted use on the property zoned B2, community commercial, but the fuel islands are a conditional use to be considered by township supervisors.
The planning commission approved a recommendation to township supervisors to allow the fuel pumps.
Members voted to table the preliminary site plan for 45 days to further address plans that are not in place, including the traffic study.
Representatives from Speedway will appear before supervisors during a conditional-use hearing at 2:30 p.m. Oct. 22, then at the zoning hearing board at 6 p.m. on the same day. After that, plans will again be considered by the planning commission and at the regular supervisors meeting next month.
Stacey Federoff is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-6660 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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