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.