Proposed Unity gas station draws criticism
By Stacey Federoff
Published: Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
Neighbors in the vicinity of a proposed gas station near the Inn at Mountain View voiced concerns to Unity supervisors on Tuesday about the prospect of commercial trucks and increased traffic.
Representatives of the proposed Speedway gas station off Route 30 came before supervisors at a conditional-use hearing, because the 4.2-acre property bordered by Frye Farm Road, Village Drive and Route 30 is zoned B2, community commercial.
With that designation, the proposed 4,600-square-foot convenience store is permitted, but the gas station must be approved by supervisors.
Residents were concerned that even with the addition of a new turning lane on Route 30 and widening of Village Drive, the diesel truck traffic would congest the roads bordering the property.
Bill Hennessey, a physician at Pennsylvania Physical Medicine on Village Drive, said cars back up at the traffic light on Route 30, blocking access to the office and bank, which share a driveway.
Plans for the gas station call for eight gas pumps and two diesel islands with the convenience store separating the gasoline and auto diesel from the truck diesel.
As the site is proposed, tractor-trailers would enter a one-way looping horseshoe on Village Drive, then exit only onto Village Drive toward Route 30.
Engineer Don Hultberg explained plans call for trucks to exit only to Frye Farm Road when refilling the underground fuel storage tanks about five times a week.
Representatives from Speedway could not estimate how many trucks might visit the 24/7 gas station and convenience store.
Hultberg said when drawing the designs, he estimated 10 trucks could queue in the two-lane loop.
The gas station plans do not include truck parking, overnight accommodations or shower facilities such as a truck stop, he said.
David Lloyd, who lives along Frye Farm Road, said supervisors should consider three nearby schools and school-bus traffic when reviewing the plan to include tractor-trailer fueling.
He and other neighbors agreed, however, that a plan for a gas station without the commercial trucks would be more agreeable.
A traffic study is in the works between Speedway and the state Department of Transportation to gauge appropriate additions for the intersection with Village Drive.
One proposed version of the study was rejected by PennDOT, but the reason was not known, said township solicitor Gary Falatovich.
Supervisor Mike O'Barto said part of the problem is encouraging PennDOT to address the poorly rated intersection with Route 30 at Village Drive.
“Everyone needs to be on the same page to actually envision the future instead of what you have right now, but that's not going to change until we get Harrisburg to get on the same page as we are,” he said.
Speedway officials noted difficulties in meeting requirements for sidewalks, facade, curb radius and landscaping.
Sidewalks are required at the site, but none of the other properties along busy Route 30 have sidewalks, Hultberg said.
“I don't believe this is an area you want to encourage pedestrian traffic,” he said.
Unity's tree requirements set a given number of trees for each 100 lineal feet of road.
Hultberg said the company had difficulty meeting the requirements because the site borders three roads.
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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