Decision for new Sheetz still pending

Bo Gemmell

About 25 Kent city residents expressed concerns about lighting, traffic, noise and cosmetics of a proposed Sheetz gas station and convenience store in Kent at the Planning Commission meeting Monday night.

But no decisions were made at the meeting. The commission will meet again Sept. 2 for additional information about landscaping, colors and the store’s speaker system to make a final decision.

Sheetz wants permission to build the gas station and convenience store at the northern intersection of Fairchild Avenue and North Mantua Street. The 4900-square foot business would include six pairs of fueling pumps and 33 parking spaces.

The proposal for the new Sheetz location complies with Kent city’s building and zoning codes.

David Hazelet, director of real estate for Sheetz, said Sheetz would have a positive impact on Kent State students.

“Our type of operation is very conducive to student life,” he said.

Sheetz is open 24 hours a day.

Kent resident Lloyd Atkinson said he supports the idea because it produces income tax.

Other residents, such as Beth Schoonover, think Kent should not allow Sheetz to build.

“We should look ahead and think about sustainable development,” she said. “(Sheetz) lessens our small town atmosphere.”

Another Kent resident, Andy Esparza, said the business could threaten the safety of the neighborhood and the environment.

“A 24-7 business environment leads to crime,” he said. “These people just don’t get it. They’re here for business.”

Six representatives from Sheetz came to the meeting to give information about the project. Steve Funk, an Akron-based lawyer for Sheetz, said the store in Kent would utilize a new design that has a “fresher, up-to-date look.

“We think it’s going to make this area look attractive,” he said.

Funk also told the board that the building’s lighting would have “zero to minimal” impact on adjacent buildings. Other residents, however, voiced concerns about the red awning and the need for more landscaping.

Planning Commissioner Dave Wise said, if built, Sheetz should use heavy landscaping for “hiding” the building.

Contact general assignment reporter Bo Gemmell at [email protected].