A new gas station and convenience store has all of the necessary approvals from Heath to begin construction at Andover and Hebron roads.

A new gas station and convenience store has all of the necessary approvals from Heath to begin construction at Andover and Hebron roads.

"Last night's (Feb. 26) approval cleared the way for construction," said John Groff, chief of Heath's division of building and zoning.

Groff said the Heath planning commission approved Turkey Hill's architectural plan and site plan for the project. Turkey Hill is a group of convenience stores and gas stations started in Pennsylvania and purchased by Kroger in 1985. The site the company is developing is a former BP gas station.

Jeremy Osborn, project manager for ADR & Associates, said the company already received setback variances from the city's board of zoning and building appeals (BZBA). The company will have to go before the BZBA one more time to get a variance on the sign.

Groff said the city requires what are called monument signs that are low to the ground.

Osborn said the company would like to have a sign on pillars at Andover and Hebron roads to provide better visibility for motorists trying to turn at the intersection.

The planning commission that night resolved another safety issue related to the project. Groff said the city requires 60 percent of a building facade to be covered in brick or stone. Osborn said convenience stores and gas stations should have a lot of glass in front to provide employees with good views of customers so they could detect any potential problems.

Groff said that in lieu of meeting the 60-percent facade coverage requirement, Turkey Hill would put brick on the gas-station canopy pillars.

"Having a lot of glass is kind of the nature of the beast," Osborn said. "We offered to put brick on the supports, which will make it look more attractive."

Osborn said the company would go before the BZBA next month for the required sign variance. Construction could begin in mid-May.

Groff said the company estimates it could take five months to complete the project.

In other business, the planning commission tabled a request to change about 14 acres between 986 and 1018 Thornwood Drive from agriculture to M-2 for manufacturing uses.

The planning commission initially made a recommendation to zone the property M-1 for warehousing and light-industrial uses, but Heath City Council, after receiving complaints from adjacent neighbors, asked the neighbors and property owners to find a solution and present it to the planning commission.

Mary Ann Dennis, who is one of adjacent property owners, said she and property owners Jeff and Tara Bush met with the planning commission Feb. 26 but the Bushes' agent could not attend.

She said she and another property owner have been working with Tom Robb of NAI Anderson Layman to determine conditions that could be attached to the zoning and protect people living next to the property.

"We took some things off of our list at his (Robb's) request, and we're down to a small list," Dennis said. "He's been wonderful to work with."

The planning commission could remove the issue from the table and reconsider it when an agreement is reached.