Botetourt planning commission recommends denial of application for new Sheetz gas station

Sheetz needs property at Cawtaba Road and Route 220 to be rezoned

By Rob Manch - Reporter

DALEVILLE, Va. - The Botetourt County Planning Commission voted 4-1 Monday evening to recommend that supervisors deny an application to rezone land at the intersection of Route 220 and Catawba Road.

Sheetz has signed a contract to buy the land, on which the company plans to put a new gas station, convenience store and car wash. The company also had to apply for two special exception permits for the store and car wash, but the planning commission voted unanimously to deny both of them.

This comes after more than 100 people, the majority of whom are against the project, came out for a public hearing Monday evening. County supervisors will hold their next public meeting on Nov. 28.

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The Botetourt County Planning Commission voted monday night against putting a new Sheetz in Daleville.

The 4 - 1 vote came after a public hearing where the majority of speakers were against the project that would go at the corner of Route 220 and Catawba Road.

Route 220 in Daleville is a busy throughway. It's that traffic Sheetz wants to capitalize on. At the public hearing, property owner Richard Pauley explained why he's selling.

"I've been there since, as I said, 1976. I'd like to see something put there that would be beneficial to the people and to the county, and I believe will fill that bill," Pauley said.

But for the sale to go through, the shopping center needs to be rezoned. A shopping center that currently houses several businesses.

"The very last thing everybody says to me is Sheetz, not on this corner," said Ginna Bell, who owns the company Bahama Snow and Java To Go. She hasn't found another location for her business.

"I've been there 19, will be 19 years in February, very loyal customers here in Botetourt, wonderful county, we but we will be displaced," Bell said.

Pauley says he sympathizes with store owners like Bell.

"I don't want to see anybody mistreated or misplaced, but at the same time I'm 68 and I don't know that I want to do what I'm doing there with that the rest of my life," Pauley said.

Many of the others in attendance complained about traffic on 220. Representatives from Sheetz presented a study by VDOT that said traffic won't increase if the business moves in, but people living there are worried that if a sign goes up on the interstate, it's going to bring many more trucks and cars off the highway.

"I think everybody knows that Sheetz does have a reputation and does pull people off the road," Bell said.

Pauley said he doesn't buy that argument.

"I don't know about you, but when I see a sign on the interstate and I'm going to get off to go to a McDonald's or somewhere and I get off and it says two miles, I'm getting back on, I don't want to go that far," Pauley said.

When asked, only three people in the audience were in favor of the proposal. Bell said if it goes through they may boycott.

"The locals have said they're going to stay with the locals, and hopefully they will," Bell said.

Once again, Pauley isn't concerned.

"Probably 90 percent of the people in there that are in opposition to it, if that Sheetz store is built, they'll be the first people in line for the promos when they open," Pauley said.

Despite the Planning Commission's rejection, Botetourt County supervisors could still approve the rezoning plan for Sheetz. The board is expected to consider the proposal at its next meeting on Nov. 28.

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