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This article was funded by LebTown donors as part of our Civic Impact Reporting Project.
On Wednesday, the North Cornwall Township Zoning Hearing Board unanimously agreed to three waivers and a special exception for a planned Sheetz at 2150 W. Cumberland St.
Read More: Sheetz plans for new Cumberland Street location in North Cornwall Township
The waivers concern driveway radii for trucks, interior lot landscaping, and front yard landscaping.
The first waiver concerns zoning ordinance 301.F.1.a, which specifies that in lots regularly serviced by buses and/or combination trucks with an entering speed of less than 45 mph, the turning radius must be between 45 and 55 feet.
The planned development has two locations for possible truck entrance, with one being 25 feet and the other 65. Managing partner of Integrated Development Partners Justin Kuhn testified that the planned property was designed this way to meet PennDOT’s requirements.
The board agreed to defer to PennDOT’s authority on this issue.
The second waiver is of ordinance 310.T.3.b.1, which requires that parking space rows must be broken up by interior landscaping at least every 10 spaces.
While most parking Sheetz plans for the lot follows this requirement, the company requested relief for the 12 front parking spaces, as islands would be litter receptacles and would make snow plowing in the winter more difficult.
The third waiver concerns ordinance 310.T.1, which requires a 10-foot landscaped strip between parking lots and the street.
Most of the planned property followed this ordinance, but due to PennDOT right turn lane and driveway radii requirements, some of the landscaped strip goes down to 7.8 feet.
The special exception was to Ordinance 310.U.4, which requires one parking space for every 80 square feet of development for convenience stores. This would require 62 parking spaces, plus the 10 required spaces at gas islands.
The plan only contains 43 spaces, plus the 10 at fueling stations.
However, the ordinance allows for special exceptions when the applicant can provide evidence that the parking provided is adequate, including using traffic studies on similar properties.
Sheetz performed a study from August 2021 to July 2022 tracking transactions at 626 Sheetz locations and found that once Sheetz parking lots have over 40 spaces, the lot is only full a small percentage of the time.
They also pointed out that the planned location will be smaller than the majority of Sheetz locations.
Sheetz representatives said that a preliminary development plan will be forthcoming, at which time it will be discussed by the North Cornwall Township Board of Supervisors. They meet the first Tuesday of each month at the North Cornwall Township Building at 7 p.m.
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