Planning commission begins consideration of Sheetz application

Alan Froman
ThisWeek group
A Sheetz gas station, restaurant and convenience store is being proposed for the southeast corner of Grandview Avenue and Dublin Road in Grandview Heights.

The Grandview Heights Planning Commission is seeking more information regarding a proposal to redevelop the property on the southeast corner of Grandview Avenue and Dublin Road as a Sheetz restaurant, convenience store and gas station.

The company is seeking a major site-plan review and conditional use to allow construction on the lots at 744-746 Grandview Ave. and 1075 Dublin Road.

The application was discussed Nov. 18. The commission agreed to wait to vote on the request until more details, including the results of a traffic study, are available from the applicant.

The corner is occupied by a Meineke store and a vacant restaurant building.

The buildings would be razed for construction of a 6,070-square-foot Sheetz restaurant and store with a six-pump fuel canopy on the west end of the site.

Many people would refer to a Sheetz outlet as being a gas station, but that is a misnomer, said Frank Petruziello, president of development for Skilken Gold Real Estate Development, the applicant on behalf of Sheetz.

Sheetz has been expanding locally in recent months, announcing its plans to open a dozen locations each year through 2025 in central Ohio.

Related story:Sheetz breaks ground in Delaware and Obetz, plans about 50 stores in central Ohio

"Sheetz has a very intense following of customers for their food," Petruziello said. "This is a restaurant first. The menu is varied. It's not just sandwiches wrapped in cellophane.

"(Sheetz) is not an oil company that turned into selling Coke with wrapped sandwiches. This is a food company coming from dairy farming in rural Pennsylvania."

Sheetz is a family-run chain that got its start in Altoona, Pennsylvania.

The interior of the building would include a full kitchen, with up to 10 people working to prepare food and serve customers, Petruziello said.

The building would include indoor seating, an outdoor seating area with five tables for diners and a small convenience store, he said.

Customers would be able to order their food using touch screens, Petruziello said.

Meanwhile, the fuel-pump canopy would not feature any overhead lights, he said.

"The lighting would come from beneath and reflect off of the ceiling, so there's not direct view of any lighting source," Petruziello said.

The approval of the conditional-use request should only be granted after a traffic study is completed by the applicant and reviewed by the city engineer, said P'Elizabeth Koelker, a consultant serving as case manager on the application for the city.

The traffic study would help confirm the proposed project would be "a reasonable, safe and nondisruptive use of the site," she said.

The 2019 community plan identified the Grandview Avenue and Dublin Road intersection as a gateway to the city, Koelker said.

The proposed Sheetz project "is not inconsistent with what's envisioned in the community plan for the area," she said. "But it is probably not for a gateway site the highest and best use that perhaps could be considered for this site."

City staff members are recommending conditional approval of the conditional-use request, Koelker said.

The staff recommendation also calls for the major site-plan review to focus on the vision in the 2019 community plan relating to issues that include site orientation, architectural design, public-sphere improvements, parking, landscaping, lighting and signage, she said.

Some of the positive aspects of the applicant's plans for the site include proposing just one curb cut off of Dublin Road and none off Grandview Avenue and the addition of trees along the south property line to provide screening, Koelker said.

"In this manufacturing area, there is not a lot of green, so that would be welcome," she said.

The applicant is proposing 33 parking spaces, which is well above the 24 spaces that would be required under city code, Koelker said.

The abundance of parking would allow for consideration of how to balance the use of paving with softscaping on the lot, she said.

Most of the planning commission members indicated they are not opposed to granting a conditional use as long as the issues identified in the staff recommendation are addressed after the applicant presents additional information, including the traffic study.

Petruziello said the applicant has no issues with what is recommended by city staff members.

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