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Renovations at Ligonier Township Sheetz to start next spring

| Wednesday, April 3, 2013, 9:01 p.m.

Officials at Sheetz Inc. hope to expand its Ligonier Township store, along with adding a drive-through and a car wash to the site.

Pending approval from township supervisors, the project should start next spring and be completed in 26 weeks, according to Robert Franks, engineering and project manager for Sheetz.

The plans call for razing a vacant building behind the Sheetz at the intersection of routes 711 and 271. Workers will then build a 6,000-square-foot convenience store behind the current store, along with 46 parking spaces around its perimeter. During construction the current store will stay open.

“Basically customers will go to the old store one day and the new store the next day,” Franks said.

The new store will include a drive-through that will operate by touch screen for customers to place food orders, just like inside the store, Franks said.

When the new store opens, workers will raze the old store and the gas pumps. A car wash will be built, the driveways on both roads will move back about 30 feet and six new gas pumps will be constructed in a slightly different configuration.

“We're moving them a little farther back from the point of the triangle,” said project engineer Alex Lapinksy of H.F. Lenz Co. Engineering in Johnstown.

The property will not provide gas for 16 weeks, Franks said.

Sheetz officials met before the Ligonier Township Zoning Hearing Board last week for permission to build the canopy over the gas pumps higher than the legal limit.

The township zoning ordinance allows accessory buildings to be no higher than 15 feet.

Sheetz attorney John McCormick said the canopy needed to be at least 20 feet to allow for large trucks to be able to pull under the canopy and fill up. The current canopy also exceeds the legal limit.

Two neighbors came to the hearing to voice concerns about light and noise.

Coleen Cardy, who lives across Route 711, said the facility — which operates 24/7 — emits a lot of light.

The new LED lights that will be used in the design should be more controlled, Franks said.

The zoning board unanimously approved the extra height for the canopy.

“I think this will be a vast improvement,” President Linda McDowell said. “Everyone knows Sheetz. Everyone knows they will build a quality store.”

Supervisors will likely review the plan at an April 9 meeting.

Planning commissioners unanimously recommended approval March 19.

Sheetz officials are working with the Ligonier Township Municipal Authority to install a public sewer line to serve the site.

Jewels Phraner is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-850-1218 or jphraner@tribweb.com.

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