In a sudden change of mind, Leaf withdrew its request to open a convenience store and 24-hour gas station in Madison Heights, and Monday’s public hearing on the matter was canceled.
This is the second Michigan community where the Altoona, Pa.-based family business has faced concerns as it seeks to expand into Michigan.
Local reactions show that communities may not be as eager to adopt it as the company expected. In its letter to Madison Heights, Sheetz said it needed more time to gather information to address “certain issues raised” at a November planning meeting.
Madison Heights City Manager Melissa Marsh said the city council and staff “do not have any opinions or comments regarding the acceptability of this project as we have not yet heard public comments.” .
And unlike in Fraser, where the planning commission recommended that the city council reject Sheetz’s application to open a location there, the Madison Heights planning commission avoided making any recommendations.
But commissioners, she said, questioned how the 24-hour operation would affect nearby residents, including increased noise, light and traffic, and whether the proposed development would was part of the city’s overall development objectives.
She said they also wonder about pollution — and whether Sheetz is doing enough to enable electric vehicle charging, a growing concern as Detroit automakers aim for an electrified future.
The Free Press left messages for Sheetz representatives.
The concerns expressed in Madison Heights were similar to those also raised by Fraser. In suburban Macomb County, commission chairwoman Kathy Czarnecki went so far as to say she didn’t think the gas station was “a good fit” for the community.
Fraser could still approve a Sheetz, but the commission’s decision makes that less likely.
Last week, Sheetz…