Update: The zoning meeting scheduled for Tuesday, March 16, has been cancelled.
Sheetz is proposing to develop a 7-acre parcel of land across from Holy Martyrs Church to build a 6,077 square foot 24-hour convenience store with drive-thru and large gas station.
Environmental concerns have been raised, as well as concerns over increased traffic congestion and safety along Route 3 and in front of our church, gasoline and diesel fumes, light pollution, increased noise from trucks, cars and music played continually on outdoor speakers, as well as an increase in crime. Many of the problems associated with a high volume business will inevitably affect our church. A Sheetz store will impact our entire community, but its greatest impact will be on Holy Martyrs.
Here are some of the specific negative ways this will impact our parish:
- Sheetz will have to position its driveways on Old Weymouth Road – the same road used to enter and exit the church parking lots. The traffic generated by those visiting Sheetz at the same time when we gather for Mass and other Holy Martyrs activities will be burdensome.
- Alternative routes in the area are already congested and dangerous.
- More than 900 children are part of the Holy Martyrs community. HMKids, Spirit, and other youth activities require parents to drop off and pick up the children, adding to traffic issues. More importantly, the presence of the station introduces an unnecessary risk to the safety of our children. All of this will lead to more stringent procedures for pick up and drop off that will add to delays and more congestion in the parking lot.
- Our facility will be more susceptible to vandalism and break-ins.
- The Sheetz station at Route 18 and Ridge Road has become a teen “hangout.” This facility could also become such a hangout.
- In addition to food, Sheetz stations typically offer beer and wine.
Other Issues Impacting Holy Martyrs
The proposed station is projected to have seven islands and a drive-through food service. Idling cars and trucks, horns, intercoms and loud music piped outdoors will disrupt Mass and prayer services, preclude outdoor events on more than half our grounds, and adversely affect the prayer path through the woods north of the church.
The station will also generate light pollution.
Other Considerations for the Medina Community
Once this property is rezoned, there is no going back. The parcel, once rezoned, can be divided to allow other commercial enterprises on the remaining acreage.
The station is being promoted as providing a gateway to the Township. Is a gas station the gateway that best describes the Township?