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Published: Thursday, 8/9/2001

Sylvania residents oppose BP plan


A hostile audience at a public hearing in Sylvania Monday challenged the construction of a BP Amoco station on the corner of Centennial and Sylvania-Metamora roads.

Last week the Sylvania planning commission approved the plan to develop 2.3 acres of the 6-acre site, but the city council still needs to grant a special use permit.

The audience urged the council to postpone its decision because councilwoman Bonita Scheidel, who opposes the station, was absent from the meeting. The council agreed to discuss the issue further at an Aug. 27 meeting of the committee of the whole at 7 p.m. in council chambers. The meeting will be open but is not a public hearing.

Two representatives from Lewandowski Engineers, who are developing the station for BP, attended Monday's hearing and explained concessions on noise and light pollution they had made to the planning commission.

Matt Lewandowski said his company switched from drop lenses to flat lenses, which emit less light, and reduced the size of the station's canopy by 30 percent. BP has also agreed to limit the hours of its car wash from 6 a.m. to midnight.

“We are trying to be a good neighbor to the city of Sylvania,” Mr. Lewandowski, the company principal, said.

But the public winced at the intrusion of commercial property so near their residential area.

Summer Place Drive resident Patrick Stark expressed concern that the station's convenience store would sell alcohol and tobacco seven days a week.

“It breeds a nightlife of potential problems,” he said.

Tim Wagner, also of Summer Place Drive, worried that teenagers would congregate at the station after concerts and events at nearby Centennial Terrace.

Police Chief Gerald Sobb reported few problems at other area gas stations after hours.

Another source of anxiety is the blasts that might be needed to install holding tanks in the bedrock. Mr. Lewandowski was unsure whether blasting would be necessary but said he will bring more information to the Aug. 27 meeting.

BP has been planning this project for at least five years, according to Jim Daniel, a planner at Lewandowski Engineers.

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