Warren County supervisors put off reconsidering a rezoning request they denied in February that would bring a Sheetz to Linden.
The Board of Supervisors held a public hearing at a special meeting on Tuesday to reconsider a rezoning request for Dudding Commercial Development LLC. The developer seeks to rezone approximately 6.45 acres from agricultural to commercial use for a Sheetz convenience store and gas station. The property lies on Apple Mountain Road north of Interstate 66.
Chairwoman Cheryl L. Cullers, Vice Chairman Archie A. Fox and supervisors Tony F. Carter, Walter J. Mabe and Delores R. Oates voted in favor of a motion to postpone the reconsideration of the rezoning application.
Carter made the motion, seconded by Mabe. Carter then gave his reasons for wanting to put off action. Carter noted that shortly after the board denied the rezoning request in February, the landowner said the school division could no longer use the property as a site for a bus stop. County and state officials could not find an alternative site, Carter recalled.
Carter said the situation with finding a new bus stop prompted him to ask that the board reconsider the rezoning request. The supervisor said postponing action to June 15 would give the School Board and the Apple Mountain Property Owners’ Association time to come up with a solution.
Oates questioned Carter as to why the board would want the developer to come back if the main concern centers on finding a bus stop. The Board of Supervisors does not have the authority to decide where the School Board puts a bus stop, Oates said. Sheetz included a bus stop in its proposal to accommodate the school division, Oates said. The property owner also is not obligated to provide a bus stop on his land, she added.
Oates said she did not understand why the board was reconsidering a rezoning application if the bus stop was the main reason.
Carter explained that the bus stop was part of the developer’s proffer submitted with the rezoning application. The bus stop included with the proposal became the only viable option, Carter said.
Cullers said she agreed with Oates. Cullers said she thought the board held the hearing and the meeting to make a decision on the rezoning. Cullers added that she felt it was unfair to the applicants and the residents.
Representatives of the developer and Sheetz presented information on the rezoning and proposed convenience store as well as a new school bus loop included with the plans. Supervisors asked the representatives questions about the design of the proposed Sheetz and bus loop.
The board then held the public hearing on the rezoning application. Deputy Clerk Emily Ciarrocchi read comments from 33 emails submitted for the hearing. The board then heard from speakers who appeared for the hearing in person.
Supervisors voted 3-2 at its Feb. 16 meeting in favor of a motion to deny the rezoning application. Dozens of people submitted email messages or spoke in person at the board’s first public hearing on the rezoning, all urging the board to deny the request.
Residents expressed concerns about safety, noise, potential environmental impacts and traffic as reasons for the board to deny the rezoning.
Carter, Fox and Mabe voted in favor of the motion to deny the rezoning request. Cullers and Oates voted against the motion. At a subsequent meeting, Carter asked supervisors to reconsider the application. The board scheduled a second public hearing on the rezoning request for reconsideration.