ADAMS TWP — More than a dozen parents from the Mars Area Soccer Club attended a township board of supervisors meeting on Monday night with concerns regarding the GetGo development project planned for the intersection of Three Degree Road and Route 228, across from Mars Area High School.
On Sept. 1, the Adams Township Planning Commission approved the site development plan for a proposed GetGo gas station and convenience store. Recent public meetings have seen residents comment on the potential of increased traffic and the possibility that the GetGo would sell alcohol and tobacco within close proximity of Mars Area School District students.
Though no decision on the project was on the budget for Monday night, residents at the meeting raised concerns that the GetGo plans would interfere with the soccer club's ability to play.
Aaron Wollerton, Mars parent and president of Mars Area Soccer Club, said the parcel of land planned for the GetGo would eliminate part of the area used by the club. He said the club was told by Mars Home for Youth that they would also no longer be permitted to use the adjacent Field B, owned by MHY, due to other construction plans.
Wollerton read a statement explaining the group's concerns at the meeting. He said that the group was worried that the loss of one of its three fields would result in limited capacity to include kids, or cause damage to the other two fields from overuse.
“I am asking the board to do what is necessary to preserve the exceedingly scarce athletic facilities in our community,” he said. “I never want to tell a child they can't play.”
Other parents spoke on the proposed project's location.
“I'm certainly pro-business, and all for new businesses coming to the area whenever it makes sense, I just think that this location is not the best spot for a gas station like this to be,” said Mars parent Rachel Morrow. “If we can consider how that would impact us, I think it could be short-sighted to allow a business like that to be in our school zone area.”
Adams Board of Supervisors Chairman Russell Ford said that the board was aware of everyone's concerns, and clarified some questions, explaining that Adams Township does not own the property that MHY is selling to the GetGo, and that Route 228 is a state road maintained by PennDOT.
“This board 100% agrees that there are concerns. We get the phone calls. We see the Facebook posts,” he said. “There's only so much that this board can actually do.”
The GetGo plan will be up for vote at the upcoming Adams board of supervisors meeting on Sept. 27. Ford encouraged concerned residents to submit their questions, but said that the board did not have a lot of answers on Monday night because they had not yet as a team looked over the full plan for the project, which they will examine before the vote.
“We have two weeks until we are going to hear this and have to make a decision yea or nay, and I can probably assure you on this board that it's not going to be a unanimous vote one way or the other,” Ford said. “We all have our thoughts on this subject right now, and a lot of them are clouded.”
Regarding the concerns about alcohol and tobacco sales, Ford reiterated that the decision would be made at a later public meeting with the Liquor Control Board.
Ford said that the board previously met with a representative from Giant Eagle and asked them to consider not selling alcohol at the GetGo. He said he was told that the representatives would bring the concerns back to the company, but that they would likely move forward with applying for a liquor license.