The Allen Township Zoning Hearing Board met Wednesday, June 26 to hear the request and appeal of appellant/purchaser of property, PVT 1363 LLC, seeking a variance for the size of their proposed Dollar General or DG Market.

The current 1.98-acre tax parcel is located in the neighborhood commercial zoning district west of Cherryville Road and east of Center Road, which is permitted for retail store use.

Under the Allen Township code, the maximum allowed gross floor area of the proposed property is 10,000 square feet.

However, the appellant’s dimensional variance request asked for an additional 640 square feet, making the total gross floor area 10,640 square feet.

The requested increase is the equivalent of one 10-foot by 60-foot aisle and would exceed the maximum allowed gross floor area by 6%.

Representing the appellant, Benjamin Syput testified that 10,640 square feet is the minimum square footage required for a DG Market, whereas regular Dollar General stores require a minimum of 9,000 square feet.

Syput also expressed that their earlier application for a larger building and loading dock was rescinded and revised to try to adhere more closely to the maximum dimensions outlined in the township code, while also meeting the minimum requirements for the retail store to serve their goods and merchandise.

Syput stated that the additional 640 square feet would be the minimum variance that would afford relief, and that the proposed DG Market would not alter the integrity of or impair the existing residential neighborhood surrounding the property.

Chairman Harold D. Dashuta revealed that even if the ZHB denies the variance, the applicant could forgo the need for a variance if they comply with the maximum 10,000 square feet permitted because the land is zoned for retail.

During public testimony, resident Natasha Christy, who lives in the neighborhood where the DG Market is being proposed, shared that she hopes the applicant will reconsider building a DG Market in that area because she believes it will change the integrity of the neighborhood due to Dollar General and DG Market attracting theft and individuals from lower socio-economic statuses.

“There are better options out there,” said Christy.

Solicitor Daniel Spengler noted that the applicant will still need to go before the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors, and advised the public that the reason for the hearing was simply to consider the dimensional variance.

Christy then added that the size increase would negatively impact the neighborhood because of how close the building would be to neighboring properties.

Christy’s husband, Scott, opined that approving the variance would set a precedence for other applicants who will think they can do the same.

Another resident claimed that the proposed DG Market will negatively affect the neighboring properties facing the back of the market due to the debris that will accumulate and blow onto surrounding properties. The resident also expressed apprehension over their belief that a DG Market may reduce property value in that neighborhood.

Next, Timothy Tepes, who is acting as the executor in the sale of the property that his father owns due to his father’s recent health issues, provided some clarifications for audience members regarding several of their concerns.

Tepes testified that he personally ensured that PVT 1363 LLC agreed to several requests he made regarding the following: a large buffer along Center Road to shield neighboring residents from the building; all siding and landscaping would need to be uniform around the entirety of the property; all lights on the building must be downlights with no light pollution; no dumpster or garbage disposal permittance; and no visibility of loading docks for neighboring residents before agreeing to sell the property.

As it stands, although PVT 1363 LLC approached Tepes to purchase the property, it is still on the market due to PVT 1363 LLC waiting for township approval to build the proposed DG Market.

If they do not agree to comply, they can withdraw their application to purchase the property, which would allow other companies to propose other developments.

Tepes, who also lives in the area, expressed his belief that the proposed DG Market was the best out of the nine propositions he had from prospective buyers—considering one of those entities wished to place a 10,000-square-foot facility to build a “meth lab” that would be purposed to ween individuals off methamphetamine for rehabilitation.

“My door is always open if people have questions,” Tepes added.

However, other residents questioned the likelihood of PVT 1363 LLC complying with Tepes’ conditions once the property is purchased.

Before the board made their decision, board member Anthony Czonstka provided a statement that he did not believe the applicant presented sufficient proof that the maximum 10,000-square-foot requirement creates a hardship for the proposed DG Market because even if the board denies the variance, PVT 1363 LLC would still be permitted to build the Dollar General or DG Market if it is within the maximum 10,000 square feet.

Finally, a motion was made to grant the 640 square feet variance, but with board members Czonstka and Stephen Keller voting to deny the request and Dashuta being the only vote in favor of granting the variance, the appeal was denied.

Upon the board’s majority decision to deny the variance request, the applicant has the option to revise their proposed dimensions, file another appeal to be heard by all four board members since Vice Chairman Paul Mauser was absent or rescind their development plan and decision to purchase the property from Tepes.

In other news, there is a vacant seat on the Zoning Hearing Board, and residents who are interested in filling the seat may submit an application to the township. Applications can be found on the township’s website under


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