Centerville approves new Sheetz, but Elsa’s restaurant closing is ‘months away’

Sheetz now can pursue final permits for Far Hills Avenue site near I-675; Elsa’s restaurant there eventually will be demolished

Centerville Planning Commission on Tuesday evening unanimously approved a major site plan that will allow Sheetz to build a new gas station/restaurant/convenience store where an Elsa’s Mexican Restaurant has been in business for 42 years.

“Major Site Plan approval allows the applicant to submit for final zoning and building permits that include final construction drawings,” said City Planner Ian Vanness. “Once final zoning and building permits are issued, construction can commence.”

The Elsa’s restaurant at 6318 Far Hills Ave. will be demolished and Sheetz will be constructed on the same 3.7-acre property. The store, which will operate 24 hours a day, will include 14 fuel pumps and a drive-through, records show.

Jason Hemmert, whose family has owned the local Elsa’s chain of restaurants for decades, told this news outlet Wednesday that no date was set for the Elsa’s closing, which was still “months away.”

“This was obviously an important step, but these things take time,” Hemmert said.

Centerville’s city planning staff had recommended approval of Sheetz’s plan for a 6,139 square-foot store with nine conditions, city records show. But the plan to build on the site faced opposition earlier this year from some neighbors and organizations who said the business would be detrimental to the area.

Decisions can be appealed to Centerville City Council within 15 days of a Planning Commission determination, Vanness said. Appeals must be filed with the Clerk of Council and the public may contact planning staff to obtain an appeal application, he said.

The Altoona, Pa.-based company garnered approval for the Centerville site the same day it opened a Huber Heights franchise.

It also plans to build in Beavercreek, Fairborn, Franklin, Springboro, Vandalia and Washington Twp. as part of a strategy it announced last year to open about 20 locations in the Dayton area over a five-year period.