Handful Protest Sheetz Rezoning at Public Hearing

City Council takes no action yet on controversial project


A handful of people formally opposed a plan to rezone a parcel at the corner of Whitney and Pearl roads for a Sheetz gas station during a public hearing Monday night.

The small group told City Council that Strongsville doesn't need a gas station there, mostly because it would put more vehicles on the already crowded roads.

"I don't think we want another traffic headache in this city," Glenn Moenich Jr. of Stamford Court said.

Bruce Rinker, attorney for the developers, said a study has shown that the Sheetz would capture passing traffic, but not add to the amount in the Pearl-Whitney area. 

No one spoke against a measure to rezone an adjacent parcel for an O'Charley's restaurant.

Both projects were introduced in January by WXZ Development Inc., which is seeking to develop the vacant land in front of Lowe's.

Rinker said the Sheetz and O'Charley's would "lay the foundation for future development in that area."

He said developers anticipate adding almost 110,000 additional square feet of retail stores to the corner.

Council took no action Monday on the two measures, which would rezone one parcel from General Business to Restaurant-Restaurant Services for O'Charley's and the other from General Business to Motor Services for Sheetz.

At a meeting hosted by WXZ in January, residents welcomed O'Charley's to the area.

They were less enthusiastic about Sheetz, which wants to build a service station and food-oriented convenience store, with a car wash in the back, architect David Mastrostefano said.

The owners of the nearby Gas & Food station and Laser Wash said Sheetz would take their customers.

The Nashville, TN-based O'Charley's chain is seeking to construct a 6,400-square-foot eatery that would seat about 200 on the other side of the access road from GFS.

O'Charley's operates more than 230 restaurants in the United States, including one in Cuyahoga Falls. There are also O'Charley's restaurants in Canal Winchester (just outside Columbus), Boardman, Niles and Cincinnati.

Sheetz would go at the corner of Whitney and Pearl.

Last year, Sheetz sought to build on the opposite side of Pearl Road, on the former Quality Catering site, but faced opposition in that location, too.

WXZ took over the long-in-coming development at Pearl and Whitney roads, picking up where the Toledo-based Timberstone development group left off when it ran into financial obstacles and bowed out in 2009.

Timberstone was the second developer to plan and then abandon a project there.

Residents were initially promised a major retail project, to be called Renaissance Park, that would include a grocery store and a mix of other retail and restaurants by original developer David Lewanski, who in late 2005 said he had commitments from Lowe's, Bed Bath & Beyond and Circuit City to locate there.

Lowe's and GFS have been constructed so far. Circuit City is out of business, and Bed Bath & Beyond built a store at the Plaza at SouthPark.

When Lewanski left, Timberstone proposed a multi-phased project that would include smaller retail stores, restaurants and office space. 

Timberstone's other Strongsville project, a Kindercare on an outlot at SouthPark Mall, was also abandoned mid-construction. The property has since been purchased by a restaurant owner.

Donna December 18, 2012 at 08:05 PM
Not sure why some think that Sheetz would create traffic congestion. Sheetz would not be a "destination point". It would simply be a service station that would capture already passing traffic. Think about it. There is a long stretch of road between the gas station at the corner of Pearl and Shurmer, and the Shell station in Middleburg Heights. Pearl Road could use a gas station.
tom m December 18, 2012 at 08:27 PM
correct me if im wrong but Stamford Court is about 1 1/2 miles away from where the sheetz is going and on the other side of I-71
tom m December 18, 2012 at 08:35 PM
rezone it residential and put up some low cost housing
Meredith Klimaszewski December 19, 2012 at 02:39 PM
Donna there is a Gas and Food across the street from GFS. I think a Sheetz would be a nice addition, and that corner has been empty for years. I live right by there and have no problem with it. I think it would have been great if it would have been built on the quality catering eyesore... but since it couldn't this is a good option. Plus Sheetz are typically clean nice looking establishments..
sarah December 19, 2012 at 05:28 PM
I say, build it! Build it all! That side of Strongsville has always been nicknamed "Ghetto Strongsville" and is such an eyesore. Let's finally give that side of the city some attention.
Casey Babinyecz December 19, 2012 at 06:29 PM
We need a good gas station in that area! Build it! I will never go to the Gas & Food station anyway because it looks trashy... I always drive all the way to the other Sheetz at 82 and Prospect. This would make it so much easier since I already go shopping in that area. I don't think it would add that much extra traffic.
lyn December 20, 2012 at 02:47 PM
What a bunch of hypocrites! No objection to the restaurant - a place that WOULD bring in people, be a "destination" point. But, oh no - not that big, bad Sheetz - that would serve traffic passing by. You know, cars that run on gas and need a gas station on a major road in a city of 45,000. As has been said, it would have been much better on that catering corner - but those folks just didn't want to give up that corner eyesore as it stands now. So, they think what had been there for years and years, those run down no-tell motels, were so much better. Or that some developer is obligated to build them a fancy retail strip. Get over it. A gas station is needed. I'm so tried of this idiotic griping from these folks. You either have lived there when that area was much worse or moved in seeing what was there or seeing development occurring. Why did you move there to begin with if it is so bad? In my opinion, it is much better than ever before.
lyn December 20, 2012 at 07:38 PM
Casey- I agree about having the choice of 2 gas stations there. People say they are concerned about crime coming to a gas station? Well, I sure would rather run into Sheetz than that other one any day - and feel much safer doing it. One I have NEVER gone in, and never will - the other one I know I will! Lets all be real honest. How many ladies, or even parents and husbands with daughters and wives, want to be going into that other gas station after dark? Wouldn't you much prefer that they go somewhere like Sheetz? Don't you care about their safety? That other one might be perfectly fine - but for those of us who don't use it - we think differently, right or wrong. Its like driving through certain areas late at night - you just have that feeling of what makes you more comfortable and safe. So, stand back and think about the women in your lives, if nothing else.
lyn December 22, 2012 at 03:29 PM
"The owners of the nearby Gas & Food station and Laser Wash said Sheetz would take their customers." If the existing place is so great, then they shouldn't fear competition. I'm sure their loyal customers will stay if the customers get the service, product and atmosphere that they find there. Based on this argument, we shouldn't have... a Home Depot next to a Lowes Heinens across Giant Eagle MacDonalds across from Wendys JC Penney, Macy's and Dillards all in 1 mall and on and on.... That argument is a bad one, and is only laughable!
Jean Williams December 23, 2012 at 01:20 AM
that gas and food station is a filthy place with gross employees I will never go in there ever again
tom m December 25, 2012 at 05:00 PM
the complaint about sheetz traffic from Glenn Moenich Jr. of Stamford Court "I don't think we want another traffic headache in this city," .....MAKES NO SENSE ....as others have said, sheetz will capture the passing traffic heading south on pearl to the only clean gas station (BP in brunswick) not add new traffic .............However O'Charley's will add to the traffic amount on Pearl by adding up to 200 extra cars who will visit the restaurant ... so unless Glenn Moenich Jr wants to include O'Charley's into his sheetz DOOMSDAY traffic scenario ...... his argument is as lyn stated .... a bad one, and is only laughable
Kim L December 25, 2012 at 07:03 PM
nice point Tom, I think that sheetz would only grab the passing motorist while ocharleys would bring additional cars to the location so the small group of protesters are complaining about the wrong business, their complaint should be towards ocharleys


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