North Huntingdon planners recommend Sheetz get OK to expand store
Sheetz Inc.’s plans to expand and sell alcohol at its North Huntingdon store, located near a Norwin elementary school, cleared one hurdle Monday.
The North Huntingdon Planning Commission approved Sheetz’s plans to expand the store at Carpenter Lane and Route 30 by 560-square-feet. This will allow the store to add the 30 seats the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board requires for it to have a liquor license. The recommendation will be forwarded to the North Huntingdon commissioners, who could consider approving the site plan when the board meets May 15.
Altoona-based Sheetz hopes to begin construction in June if it is able to obtain all of the necessary permits, said Grant Shaffer, Sheetz project manager. The expansion could be completed within two to three months, Shaffer said.
The Norwin School District had notified the township of its opposition to Sheetz’s plans that would allow for the store to sell alcohol. The board was concerned because of the store’s close proximity to Stewartsville Elementary.
The school board last month passed a resolution opposing the plans and stated it would notify the LCB of its opposition.
But Andrew Blenko, township planning director, said that matter is “more of an issue for the LCB to address.”
“It’s a non-issue for us,” said Stephen Cross, planning commission member.
Shaffer said managers of two other Sheetz stores in North Huntingdon — along Route 30 near the Pennsylvania Turnpike and at Ronda Court — reported they rarely see anyone drinking alcohol in their stores.
Sheetz limits customers to drinking two cans or bottles inside the store, Shaffer said.
“You can’t buy a six-pack or 12-pack (of beer) and drink that,” in the store, Shaffer said.
If Sheetz has problems with inebriated customers, it typically is from those who have been drinking elsewhere, he said.
Because of state liquor laws, township commissioners must approve any transfer of a liquor license into the municipality. North Huntingdon has its allotment of liquor licenses. The LCB also must approve the license.
In Centre County, Sheetz filed an appeal to a LCB ruling that denied the company a license to sell alcohol at a store located near a school.
Joe Napsha is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Joe at 724-836-5252, [email protected] or via Twitter .