A developer could build a Sheetz and a school bus stop in Linden if Warren County officials greenlight the proposal.
West Virginia-based Dudding Commercial Development LLC applied to the Warren County Planning and Zoning Department to rezone property north of Interstate 66 at Linden and south of Apple Mountain subdivision. Dudding applied for a permit to rezone 15 acres of a 31-acre portion of the property from agricultural to commercial use. The land is in the Happy Creek Magisterial District.
The proposal is still in the early stages, Warren County Planner Matt Wendling said by phone Friday. The application has yet to come before the Planning Commission for discussion or public hearing. The application is not on the commission’s meeting agenda for Wednesday and might not come up in November, Wendling said.
The proposal already has attracted opponents. A group calling itself the Apple Mountain Health & Safety Alliance recently started a petition to collect signatures to urge the Warren County Board of Supervisors to stop the development.
“The Apple Mountain Health & Safety Alliance formed after learning of the health and safety threat posed to area residents as well as our school children,” reads a statement on the organization’s page on the Community & Environmental Services website www.ceds.org/amhna
The organization’s page states that 718 people had signed the petition as of Monday. Deanne DePyper states in a post on the What’s Up Front Royal? Facebook group that the developer wants to combine the existing bus stop at the entrance to the Apple Mountain subdivision with the Sheetz.
“This could cause so much damage to our quiet peaceful mountain along with dangerous situations for the children and poisonous situations for our wells,” DePyper states in her post.
In an earlier post to the Facebook group page, David Nadzam urges people to sign a petition made available at the current bus stop and at the nearby 7-Eleven.
Sarah Lhymn, a resident of the Apple Mountain subdivision, spoke by phone Monday as to why she opposes the proposed development. Lhymn said she not only worries about the addition of a gas station but also the potential for more commercialization of the land surrounding the proposed site for the business. Two gas stations already exist near the site, Lhymn said. Reasons why some residents oppose the development proposal include worries about how a gas station would affect the wells serving homes in the subdivision and the school children's safety, Lhymn added. Lhymn is an attorney and a chemical engineer.
The applicant seeks to develop 4 acres of the 15-acre portion: a convenience store on 2.35 acres and a bus stop on 1.15 acres, and intends to leave the remaining 11 acres undeveloped. But Dudding needs to complete several more steps in the development process.
“The applicants are currently working with (the Virginia Department of Transportation) on a traffic impact analysis for the site,” Wendling said. “They’ve got to put together an environmental impact, and a community impact statement for that site.”
The department plans to make information related to the proposal available on its website, Wendling said.
The application states that the land is owned by the Four-L Corporation based in Goochland, Virginia. The justification for the rezoning permit states that Dudding has a contractual right to buy a 15-acre tract parcel from the Goochland owner. Dudding would lease a part of the property to Sheetz Inc. on which the Pennsylvania-based company would build a convenience store with approximately 48 parking spaces and a drive-thru lane.
In addition, Sheetz has agreed to build a cul-de-sac for use as a public school bus turnaround, a student shelter for area children living in the Apple Mountain subdivision, and approximately 30 parking spaces for parent pickup and drop-off.
The entrance and exit for the property would be on Apple Mountain Road.
The use of the property for a convenience store is consistent with the Warren County Comprehensive Plan and is appropriate given that the property lies near the interstate, the justification statement notes.
The county allows convenience stores on property zoned for commercial use.