Also on the agenda is discussion on the proposed amendment, to “Chart C – Use” of the Oakmont Zoning Ordinance for the Mixed Use District. The meeting is scheduled for Monday, Sept. 30 at 7 p.m. in the council chambers of the Oakmont Municipal Building.
The proposal is to build the Speedway on the site of the former Lieberth & Sons car dealership on Hulton Road next to the existing Sunoco station.
Speedway would have 16 gas pumps, 31 parking spots and would create 30-40 new jobs in the area, Wocher said. Speedway representatives want the establishment to be open 24 hours a day.
Jonathan Wocher, a principal with McBride Dale Clarion, gave the presentation for Speedway and spoke on the company’s behalf during a public hearing in July.
Wocher said he saw the gas station as an amenity that would improve the area.
Residents did not seem to agree.
“What are you trying to do? Put us out of our homes with all this congestion? I don’t get it,” said Margaret Shear of North Street.
Shear complained that the streets were already narrow and with the Hulton Bridge project the addition of another project in the area would cause traffic problems.
Shear’s traffic fears were echoed by many residents during public comment. Truck traffic was another point of contention for residents who were afraid of the safety hazards related to trucks turning in and out on the narrow streets surrounding where the Speedway would go.
“We feel the traffic is key to this project. We are very far along with PennDOT and they have showed support for our design. We want to continue to move forward and make you happy with that,” Wocher said in response.
While Speedway has not done its own traffic study, Wocher did say representatives talked to PennDOT and referred to its study in planning. Speedway is proposing to widen Third Street at its own cost.
Other concerns included noise and light pollution, increased crime surrounding a 24 hour establishment and the safety of children leaving Riverview High School after class is out.
Some residents didn’t want to see a new gas station at all. The new Speedway would neighbor Sunoco and be less than two miles from Sheetz.
“The use of space in our small town. We’re running out. A food store would be a lot better,” said Richard Williams of Summit Drive.
Wocher pleaded with council to consider the project carefully before making a decision.
“We’re hoping to occupy a vacant property. It’s a cycle. It can be an uncomfortable cycle,” Wocher said. “Just view the other side. I’m urging the council to weigh the other side of the issues raised to you.”