Heath's planning commission refrained from making recommendations Thursday night on the Turkey Hill Minit Market proposed for the northwest corner of Hebron and Andover roads.

Heath's planning commission refrained from making recommendations Thursday night on the Turkey Hill Minit Market proposed for the northwest corner of Hebron and Andover roads.

"It's going to be a tight squeeze, and I think the real challenge here is to fit everything in," said Jeremy Osborn, project manager with ADR and Associates.

Osborn represented Turkey Hill, a group of convenience stores and gas stations started in Pennsylvania and purchased by The Kroger Co. in 1985.

The site, across the street from GasAmerica, had housed a BP station. Though Turkey Hill had not yet purchased the property when Osborn met with the commission Thursday, the company already had removed the gas-pump canopy and plans to demolish the buildings.

"You mean Turkey Hill is spending money on a property they don't own yet?" Jeff Crabill, Heath City Council president, asked.

Osborn said Englefield Oil still owns the property.

He presented to the commission plans to build a 3,936-square-foot convenience store with gas pumps in front. He said the company could comply with landscaping requirements and limited-access points, including a right-in, right-out off both Hebron and Andover roads. He said it could be difficult, though, to construct a building that size on the 175-by-196-foot lot and meet the city's required setbacks from property lines.

John Groff, chief of Heath's division of building and zoning, said the BP car-wash building is only a few feet off the property line -- not set back 50 feet, as required by the zoning code. He said the company could apply for a variance from that setback and go before the board of zoning and building appeals, which makes sense if an existing building already has been placed within the setback. Another variance also might be required for the setback from the front property line.

Groff said the company also needs to consider that the state is widening and aligning portions of Hebron Road and its intersections as part of the state Route 79 safety-improvements project set to begin in 2010. Groff said some rights of way would be needed for the widening and that Hebron Road's intersections with Andover and Oberlin Drive are being aligned, thus requiring more right of way.

"We might have to shrink the building," Osborn said.

Crabill said the property always has been a gas station.

"I think the best use of the property is for a gas station," he said. "It might be environmentally challenging to do something else there."

Groff agreed and suggested applying for any variances needed before coming back to the planning commission for plan reviews. He said the company has to have the commission review plans because the company wants to change the configuration of the buildings on site.

Osborn said it probably would be spring before the gas station and convenience store could be built.

According to the Turkey Hill Web sites, the company was started in 1967. It is now a subsidiary of Kroger, which owns more than 800 convenience stores nationwide.

lwince@thisweeknews.com