Proposed Sheetz in Unity clears initial zoning hurdle |

Proposed Sheetz in Unity clears initial zoning hurdle

Jeff Himler
Jeff Himler | Tribune-Review
A motorist waits to pull out from Theater Street onto Route 30 on July 24, 2019, next to Geo’s Restaurant and Lounge in Unity Township. The restaurant sits on a portion of the property proposed for development of a Sheetz store.

Plans for a new Sheetz convenience store along Route 30 in Unity cleared an initial hurdle this week when township supervisors approved the development as a conditional use in the business zone bordering the highway.

Township Solicitor Gary Falatovich has noted the developer, Skilken Gold Real Estate Development, still must submit a site plan and storm management plan for approval.

When those documents are reviewed, Falatovich said, township officials will consider many of the concerns — including potential traffic and storm water impacts — that were raised by nearby residents at a July 23 hearing before the supervisors.

Skilken is proposing to construct the 6,100-square-foot store and gas pumps for fueling up to 16 vehicles at the northeast corner of Route 30 and Theater Street — displacing a restaurant, Geo’s, that is located there.

Sarah Krivonik, who lives on Theater, adjacent to Geo’s, expressed concern that gas pumps might be situated too close to neighboring homes, included hers. “They’re trying to shove this gas station into this little piece of property,” she said after Thursday’s meeting of the supervisors.

Zoning regulations call for a buffer of at least 60 feet between the proposed store and adjacent homes, Falatovich has said.

At the earlier hearing, Krivonik asked if Sheetz would consider installing a perimeter fence, and limiting the hours when it receives deliveries and when music is played over speakers in the fueling area, to minimize disturbance of neighbors on Theater and Golf streets.

She questioned whether modifications would be made to the Route 30 intersection to account for the additional traffic to and from the Sheetz store.

Gwen Moreland, co-owner of Geo’s, testified that Skilken will have to correct a slope on the property to redevelop it for Sheetz, which should abate some of the storm water runoff concerns.

A preliminary plan for the store includes a drive-through take-out lane, about 40 parking spaces and seating for customers inside and outside of the store. The proposal includes a storm water retention pond at the eastern end of the property.

Sales of alcoholic beverages might be offered at the store, with approval from the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, according to Ryan Herchenroether, Skilken’s director of development.

According to spokesman Nick Ruffner, Sheetz hopes to begin construction of the new store next spring with a projected opening late in the summer of 2020.

Jeff Himler is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jeff at 724-836-6622, [email protected] or via Twitter .

Categories: Local | Westmoreland
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