McCandless OKs final piece needed for Sheetz to start work on new Perry Highway store
McCandless council has approved the final component the municipality requires before Sheetz can begin constructing a new gas station and convenience store across from its current location on Perry Highway.
Council on Monday voted unanimously to approve the sewer and stormwater engineering plans submitted for the project by the Altoona-based company.
Sheetz wants to move to the new location because there is not enough room at the current site to replace the structure with one of the larger stores the company typically builds.
The plan approved by council at its Sept. 24 council meeting already had the green light from the McCandless Township Sanitary Authority and the Allegheny County Sanitary Authority, said Bruce Betty, the town’s director of planning.
Site plans for the project as well as conditional use and subdivision plans also were previously approved by town council.
Once a permit is issued by the state Department of Transportation, the company “will start as soon as possible,” said Ryan Wotus, an attorney for Sheetz.
The actual start date could also be affected by weather conditions and the other sites the company is developing, Wotus said.
“The Sheetz in McCandless is on the front burner,” he said. “But that could change if work on other projects needs to be done first.”
Betty said while construction time can vary, the new Sheetz likely would take about six months to complete.
Even with most of the approvals needed to begin work, the project was stalled by a pair of lawsuits filed in the spring on behalf of residents in the surrounding neighborhood who oppose the move.
Property owners argued that a larger store closer to their homes will increase their exposure to gasoline and diesel fumes; add more noise, light and traffic congestion; make it more dangerous for children waiting for school buses;
lower their property values; and disturb the neighborhood’s tranquility.
To address those concerns, town planners are requiring the company take steps to reduce the impact on the neighborhood.
Despite meeting nearly all the requirements to proceed with its plans, the project was delayed in April by a pair of lawsuits filed on behalf of nearby residents.
Both court actions and their appeals were dismissed in Allegheny County Common Pleas Court, Wotus said.
Tony LaRussa is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tony at 724-772-6368, [email protected] or via Twitter .