Wawa given OK to build in Huber Heights; withdraws Englewood location request

In continuing its expansion into the Ohio market, Wawa has been given a green light to open a new location in Huber Heights.

City council on Monday voted to approve a rezoning request and preliminary plans submitted by the Pennsylvania-based company to construct a Wawa convenience store at the northwest corner of Old Troy Pike and Chambersburg Road.

The proposed 5,915-square-foot store would sit on 5.41 acres of land, approximately half of which is currently developed as a single-family home in a densely wooded and landscaped lot, with the other half being wooded and undeveloped, documents show.

Plans include installation of a gas station and convenience store with eight pumps and 53 parking spaces.

The business, a gas station chain that touts custom-made sandwiches and specialty drinks, would be an addition to an already commercially developed intersection, with a Walgreens on the southwest corner, KeyBank on the northeast corner, and Speedway at the southeast corner.

During Monday’s city council meeting, one resident shared her opposition, asking council members if a new gas station is needed in the proposed area.

“We don’t need another gas station on Old Troy Pike ... there’s already 12 stations from Needmore Road to U.S. Route 40 on Old Troy Pike,” said Patricia Dyer. “A 13th one is really unnecessary, and it would be a travesty to cut down all of those trees to build a gas station there.”

Just prior to Monday’s vote, two members of council shared their concern with the project, with Councilman Glenn Otto highlighting the fast-paced development of new gas stations throughout the city, and Councilwoman Anita Kitchen critical of the Wawa’s proposed location.

“I am no okay with that location and I see it as an accident waiting to happen,” Kitchen said.

Councilman Richard Shaw expressed similar sentiments, noting council had previously requested from city staff detailed data regarding the current and future impacts of the recent growth in gas stations throughout the city.

“I don’t think it’s appropriate site for this facility,” Shaw said. “Additionally, I’m waiting on a complete and vetted staff report on the fueling stations’ impacts to our area and what will happen when we see a lot of these smaller gas stations close down and we as a city have to go in to remediate that.”

The city of Huber Heights currently has 19 gas stations, but four additional fueling centers are in varying stages of the development process, city planner Aaron Sorrell said last month.

Meanwhile, Wawa has withdrawn a similar application to construct a new location in a busy area of Englewood.

The company recently submitted a request to rezone a 1.5-acre site located at 9100 N. Main St., along with a preliminary development plan, to facilitate construction of a 6,500-square-foot gas station near Miami Valley Hospital North.

Earlier this month, Englewood Planning Commission voted not recommend council approval of the project, which has been proposed for a 4-acre North Main Street property, situated north of Garber Road, just west of Good Samaritan Boulevard and the Miami Valley Hospital North Campus.

The site is currently occupied by the Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church.

John Brownrigg, a representative for Miami Valley Hospital North, formally entered a letter of opposition to planning commission on behalf of the hospital, detailing concerns about the project proposal.

“Patient safety and access are essential components for all healthcare services provided at this location,” the letter reads. " ... Since this intersection is the main entrance to the hospital, protecting traffic flow and patient safety cannot be compromised by adjacent non-compatible uses.”

Though the project site is city of Englewood property, North Main Street itself is located within the city of Clayton, adding a unique hurdle for implementation of changes to traffic flow.

The city of Clayton submitted a letter of opposition to the proposal, as well.

“Increased traffic on Main Street at this location presents serious safety concerns, especially when the intersection of Main and Garber and the intersection to the north near Meijer are already congested,” the letter reads. “The additional traffic will also result in additional damage to Main Street, which will be the responsibility of Clayton to repair and maintain, resulting in increased costs to Clayton.”

A representative for Wawa did not respond to a request for comment Tuesday.

About the Author