Business Community Government

Planners Discuss Proposal to Bring Sheetz to Lower Saucon


A proposal to build a Sheetz on Rt. 378 in Lower Saucon Township was back before township officials at a planning commission meeting Thursday.

Est. Read Time: 3 mins

A proposal to build a Sheetz on Rt. 378 in Lower Saucon Township was back before township officials at a planning commission meeting Thursday.

Saucon Source was the first local media outlet to report on the proposal back when it was first unveiled in the fall of 2022.

Plans for the large convenience store and gas station have advanced significantly then, planners heard, with prerequisite actions such as completion of a traffic study undertaken by the developers.

Several planners as well as members of the audience shared concerns about emergency access to the Saucon Square shopping center, which has only one driveway used by the public to enter and exit the property. There is an emergency access road which runs behind part of the center, which is accessible via Raders Lane, but the suitability of that access point was called into question.

Commission chair Craig Kologie read a letter from nearby residents Anthony and Suzette Califano in which they called the current emergency access road “completely inadequate,” noting that it was designed decades ago when the shopping center was built.

“It is much smaller and tighter than depicted in (an) aerial view,” the Califanos said, noting that if there were an emergency at the gas station, a large response by fire and police would be required.

Kologie told representatives for Sheetz, including an attorney and others, that the current access road’s adequacy should be evaluated by the company; a stipulation to which they agreed.

The current plans for the gas station call for it to be build on a pad site currently occupied by a former bank branch, which is on the north side of the shopping center’s entrance.

Planning commissioner Jennifer Peters asked the representatives for Sheetz about pedestrian access to the shopping center, particularly as it pertains to people who use a LANTA bus stop located along Rt. 378 near the entrance.

The attorney for Sheetz said the company would not want to install sidewalk along Rt. 378 “because you don’t want people walking along 378” and questioned whether the bus should even be stopping where it currently does. He also said he was not sure whether it is frequently used by riders.

Victoria Opthof-Cordaro, who is township council’s liaison to the planning commission, later told planners that the bus stop is used. She said some of the people who use it most frequently work at businesses in the shopping center and that they currently have to climb an embankment in order to get from the bus stop to the stores.

“I would like to see that the pedestrian traffic be improved with sidewalking,” she said.

“Our township is looking at improving our connectivity to different places,” Opthof-Cordaro added.

“We’re going to have to have conversations with LANTA,” the attorney for Sheetz acknowledged.

In response to questions about lighting that will illuminate the 24-hour Sheetz store and gas pumps during the overnight hours, a company representative assured planners and nearby residents that it will not “leave the site…so it should not bleed over into those residences.”

She also said the gas station’s price display may be built into the canopy above the gas pumps rather than being displayed on a freestanding sign.

No decisions regarding the plans were rendered Thursday, with the commission voting to table the Sheetz application. The discussion is expected to continue after some of the concerns raised are addressed, which could happen in April.

Sheetz has been expanding rapidly in the Lehigh Valley, along with its main competitor, Wawa. Late last year, a new Wawa opened on Rt. 412 near Hellertown, and a Sheetz is currently under construction just up the road heading toward Wind Creek casino in Bethlehem.


Subscribe to receive our newsletter in your inbox every Monday, Wednesday & Friday.

Please wait...

Thank you for subscribing!

About the author

Josh Popichak

Josh Popichak is the owner, publisher and editor of Saucon Source. A Lehigh Valley native, he's covered local news since 2005 and previously worked for Berks-Mont News and AOL/Patch. Contact him at

Leave a Comment