Share This Page

Residents protest proposed Speedway store in Delmont

| Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

A group of Delmont residents want officials to say, “No way!” to a proposed Speedway.

The gasoline and convenience-store chain last month submitted plans for a 4.5-acre station on more than 8 acres along Route 66 near West Pittsburgh Street and across the street from a residential neighborhood. A group of about 10 residents protested the development during last week's council meeting. They cited worries that the gas station would lower property values and cause safety issues.

“I can't imagine trucks coming up a residential street like that,” resident Rebecca Killian said. “How any of you, with a good conscience, can vote for this, I just can't imagine.”

The plan includes three diesel pumps and eight gasoline pumps. As many as 16 cars would be able to refuel at one time, officials said. Borough engineer Gary Baird said the plan is akin to a Get-Go or Sheetz that includes several gas pumps and a convenience store.

What worries residents is the number of diesel pumps.

“I'm picturing semis coming in and out of a residential neighborhood,” said Linda Schmida, who lives along West Pittsburgh Street.

Tim Schmida said he thinks the plan will affect property values for the homes adjacent to the station. He wants to know how property values near similar Speedway locations have fared.

Council President Jim Bortz said he shares a lot of the worries that residents have. He said he understands residents' worries about what could be developed adjacent to their property.

“I don't like our rights being taken away from us, but on the other hand, I don't want a pig farm next to me either,” Bortz said. “We're doing everything we can to get answers.”

Those aren't the only concerns.

Resident Tim Bytner said he worries about the amount of noise that tractor-trailers would make filling up at the station, which, he said, would attract truckers.

“I wake up at 4:21 every morning,” Bytner said. “Sleeps are going to be a lot harder to come by in that area.”

Brandon Daniels, a spokesman for parent company Marathon Petroleum, said the company prides itself on its committment to safe operations and environmental stewardship.

“Speedway focuses on providing the merchandise and fuels that consumers want in an efficient, convenient manner — diesel is one of those fuels in demand,” Daniels said. “In many ways, diesel is what keeps this country running as it powers the transport vehicles that deliver products and goods across the country.”

Bortz said council will move forward cautiously with the proposal. However, there is a timetable by which officials must abide. Under state regulations, officials have 90 days to vote on the plans, or else the developer receives automatic approval. For the Speedway project, that 90-day time frame began Aug. 1, borough Solicitor Dan Hewitt said.

There are several options if council is not ready to approve the plans, he said. Council could reject the project, leaving Speedway to reapply with new plans, or the company could request an extension to meet officials' requests.

Baird said the borough planning commission has forwarded questions on the plans to developers and will hold another meeting in late August or early September.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.