Update after City Council Meeting – March 6, 2023

Report on February City Council Meeting and Next Steps

Over 40 Epiphany members attended the Centerville City Council meeting on February 20, 2023, to support bringing Epiphany’s concerns about a proposed development of a Sheetz gas station, restaurant, and convenience store at the current Elsa’s site next door to the church. Thank you for your personal support at the meeting.

Two representatives for the Sheetz development introduced Sheetz during the public comment section of the meeting. They proposed negotiations with the City to bring this new store to Centerville. The next speakers for public comment opposed the proposed development, including Pastor Julie Reuning-Scherer, Epiphany Preschool Director Heather Philips, neighborhood representative and Epiphany Director of Operations Kathy Whited, Graceworks legal counsel Robert Curry, and Bethany residents Art Asbury and Pastor Larry Hoffsis. 

Approving a new development typically begins with a developer submitting a major site plan to the Planning Commission of Centerville. This group reviews the plans from a city zoning point of view. If the Commission finds issues with the plan, the Commission will send it back to the developer to address the identified variances with the local code. If the Planning Commission approves a proposal, it heads to City Council, which reviews the site plan from the perspective of whether the development is appropriate for the community. Decisions at either stage can be appealed by supporters or opponents who actually appeared and spoke at the Planning Commission Meeting. 

Centerville City Council Economic Development Administrator Joey O’Brien informed the gathered assembly that Sheetz submitted a major site plan to the Planning Commission in December 2022. Several issues were identified including lighting, public improvements of streets and traffic flow, and landscaping. The developer has not yet submitted an application to the city. An application is a requirement for a major site plan. If Sheetz submits an application, the next hearing would be the March 21 Planning Commission meeting.  Any property owner within 500 feet of the proposed development will receive written notification of the meeting. If the March 21 meeting goes forward, Epiphany plans to be present to oppose the development. We will advise you if that hearing does indeed go forward.

We ask congregation members to place March 21 at 7 p.m. on your calendars in case we are called upon to share our concerns in more detail. We welcome any questions or concerns. Reach out to Council President Anthony Brown or Pastor Julie Reuning-Scherer

Additionally, our Congregation Council leadership is planning a community conversation at Epiphany to address current work in the church, including this proposed development, on Sunday, March 19 at noon in the Far Hills sanctuary.

Thank you for your continued prayer and support of our mission as we seek to love and serve our neighbors.
Anthony Brown, Congregation Council President
Pastor Julie

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