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Unity entertains revised proposal for Speedway station

| Thursday, May 8, 2014, 12:01 a.m.

A revised plan was proposed for a Speedway gas station at the same Unity site that drew objections from nearby residents in the fall, but with changes that officials said kept their concerns in mind.

The township planning commission on Tuesday heard a preliminary proposal for the proposed gas station and convenience store on 4.2 acres near the intersection of Route 30 and Village Drive near the Inn at Mountain View.

The latest plan would include the same eight gas pumps, but a smaller store with no connection to nearby Frye Farm Road.

The original plan presented in October included an additional exit to Frye Farm Road and two diesel fueling islands for commercial trucks that residents fear would cause extra traffic.

“Now it's more of a traditional convenience store with gas than a truck stop,” said engineer Don Black, representing the Ohio-based Speedway company.

Residents such as Dave Nelson, who lives in the nearby Charter Oak housing development, were still concerned that diesel islands might be added to the plan later, because a landscaped area is proposed for about 1 12 acres of the property.

Solicitor Gary Falatovich said supervisors could restrict that as a part of the conditional use at a hearing at 2:30 p.m. May 27.

Because of the B2 community-commercial zoning designation, the convenience store is permitted, but the gas station must be approved by supervisors.

A right-turn only entrance on Village Drive is proposed 100 feet from the intersection with Route 30, while a main entrance is planned for about 60 feet farther north on the road where the property is now undeveloped.

Black said Village Drive would be widened to accommodate traffic entering and exiting the property, which would have a connecting drive with the Inn at Mountain View to prevent more traffic from making trips on and off Route 30.

Falatovich and other professional staff wanted the opportunity to review a previous traffic study in order to better judge whether any changes are needed to accommodate traffic on Route 30.

Black argued that the gas station would not be a destination site generating trips specifically to the store, but only siphoning pass-by trips by drivers already traveling on the highway.

“The traffic that Speedway wants to take advantage of is already there,” he said.

Township ordinances require the 3,900-square-foot building to face Route 30, but the developers are asking for the building to run parallel with Village Drive to attract customers to the gas pumps.

Other modifications requested for the plan — similar to those requested in the fall — include landscaping changes, omission of a sidewalk and allowances in driveway width requirements.

Planning commission members said they did not have enough time to review them and voted to table the modifications and preliminary plan, but they approved a conditional use to allow the gas station for recommendation to the board of supervisors.

The commission may consider the plan again during its 7 p.m. meeting on June 3. Some measures requested by the developers, including signs, may be reviewed by the zoning hearing board during its 6 p.m. meeting May 27.

Stacey Federoff is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-6660 or sfederoff@tribweb.com.

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