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Court tosses out appeal; awards sanctions in Sheetz case

Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas Judge Joseph James granted an emergency petition filed by Sheetz Corporation to stop what they deemed as “frivolous” lawsuits intended to delay construction on a new store in McCandless.

Mike Gronsky, a resident of Montclair Avenue where the new Sheetz is to be built, filed an appeal to the decision of the Town of McCandless Zoning Hearing Board asserting that the parcel was unconstitutionally “spot zoned” in April 2019. After failing to meet the 30-day requirement to appeal the first challenge in April, Grosnsky then refiled a second challenge.

Sheetz responded by filing an emergency motion to enforce the order of the court, and also for sanctions on Mr. Gronsky, asserting that the lawsuits were “frivolous and filed with the sole intent to delay the development of the Property.”

Judge James’ ruling asserted that Gronsky’s second appeal was filed 268 days from the date of the acceptance of approval of the land development application by the Town Zoning officer and granted the motion to quash the appeal.

Additionally, the court found Gronsky’s challenge to be “frivolous and for the sole purpose of delay” and awarded legal fees to Sheetz in the amount of $1,000.

A public hearing will be held at McCandless Town Hall later this month as the last and final appeal from Montclair residents before construction can begin.

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