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Williamsport council hears more about Sheetz alley proposal

February 14, 2011|By DAVE MCMILLION | davem@herald-mail.com

WILLIAMSPORT — A request to abandon part of an alley at Artizan and Potomac streets as part of a proposal to build a new Sheetz store went before the Williamsport Town Council again Monday night.

Town council members were presented with the alley-abandonment request last year and scheduled a public hearing on the request.

The push to build a new store has been considered for some time, and Washington County Circuit Judge W. Kennedy Boone III in 2009 issued an order upholding a zoning decision that allows a new Sheetz next to where an existing one operates.

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.

Mayor James G. McCleaf II said after the town council meeting Monday night that the developers of the Sheetz project have the legal right to proceed with the new store.

The issue that is before the council is whether council members will allow the portion of the alley on the property to be abandoned.

After council members were presented some plans regarding the project Monday night, they decided to delay any action on the alley-closure request. They agreed to take up the issue March 8 at 6:30 p.m.

Hagerstown attorney Travis W. Poole outlined details for the project to council members Monday night. He said closing the portion of the alley will help with traffic flow at the store site.

A site plan for the project was submitted to the town Dec. 28, Poole said in the letter to council members. He said in his letter that the town planning commission will not consider the site plan until McCleaf and council members act on the alley-abandonment request.

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