Williamsport asked to abandon alley for new Sheetz

July 13, 2010|By DAVE McMILLION

WILLIAMSPORT -- In a repeat of a previous proposal, the owner of property at the intersection of Artizan and Potomac streets is requesting that the Williamsport Town Council abandon part of an alley on the property as part of a plan to build a new Sheetz, according to town documents.

Higher Ground Realty LLC is the owner of the former Red Barron property. Bowman 2000 LLC has contracted to buy the site and to build a Sheetz store that would replace an existing store on the corner opposite the property, according to a proposal distributed at a town council meeting Monday night.

The new store would be about 4,056 square feet and would be at the rear portion of the property, according to the proposal.

The property has been vacant for several years despite previous attempts to develop it, the proposal said.

Last year, Washington County Circuit Judge W. Kennedy Boone III issued an order upholding a zoning decision that allows a new Sheetz.


Boone dismissed an appeal by a group of 45 Williamsport residents and property owners who argued the town's zoning ordinance prohibits the sale of petroleum products in the Town Center district.

Opponents were concerned the new Sheetz would bring more traffic, noise and pollution to the downtown area and detract from the historic homes around it.

Attorney Travis W. Poole, who represents the owner of the property, on Monday night briefed council members about the project.

In a letter to council members and Mayor James G. McCleaf II, Poole said the additional property gained by abandoning the section of alley on the property would optimize the development of the property.

The alley is rarely used and does not appear to serve any function for the town, the proposal says.

Poole asked that the town council hold a public hearing on the proposal and that the hearing be held before the regular town council meeting Aug. 9.

Council members scheduled the public hearing for Aug. 9 at 6:15 p.m.

McCleaf said Tuesday he does not know how the council will react to the alley closure request.

McCleaf said he believes there will be opposition again to the new Sheetz, although he said the council has no say on the store.

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