Restore N Station Clears Another Hurdle

Thanks to Jessica Jaglois of the Newsplex:

If built, the station would be the second-largest full-service gas station in Albemarle County and would be built on Route 250. Crozet residents said such a large station would destroy the scenic route on 250, and it would also bring in big rigs at all hours of the night looking to fill up on diesel fuel.

About 30 people showed up to stand before the board to express concern, but it wasn’t enough to sway the board, which voted that plans for the service station are ready to move forward.

I went to the public hearing and listened for about 90 minutes. By the time I left, ten people had spoken against the proposed gas station and one person, who represents the applicant, spoke for it. As I said on Twitter – “I’d like to hear one member of the public not affiliated w/ the applicant speak for it. Seriously.”

I’m waiting for the in-depth coverage to be provided by the Crozet Gazette and Charlottesville Tomorrow.

Update 3 June 2010: Crozet Gazette has, as usual, a more detailed accounting of the BZA meeting.

Personally, I’d like to know :

– Just how big the station will be.
– What its hours will be. (24 hours?)
– What road improvements will be made to accommodate the expected increased truck traffic. Who will pay for those improvements
– What light and noise pollution mitigation efforts will be implemented.
– What the community thinks about this proposal. If the 90 minutes yesterday were representative of the Crozet community’s opinion, (and I’m not assuming that’s the case) it would seem that no one other than the applicant and one twofour commenters on the Newsplex’s story wants the gas station.
… Update: it seems that “cheaper gas” is the most common argument.

I’m trying to keep an open mind and welcome comments supportive (and against) the station.

These are some tweets about and during the hearing.

Learn much more at Albemarle County’s useful County View site.

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8 Replies to “Restore N Station Clears Another Hurdle”

  1. I have spoken for it (sadly) several times. Refer to your previous Restore
    N Station article. If you just apply the same standards to this as you did for tract housing and all the coffee shops you can see why it passed. Making statements that it would ruin the scenic view of Route 250 when
    the property was filled with junk lawn equipment when the previous business owner was there does not help. You need actual facts to go against a property owner trying to develop his own property. I am glad
    that the Board recognized this. As a Realtor you should understand…

  2. Having a mega gas station for the purpose of drawing in truckers from 64 and 81 is NOT a good option for Crozet/Western Albemarle. There are not enough drivers to support this station locally. Though the land owner has every right to develop his land he should do so within the constraints of the current regulations. No exceptions should be made. The infrastructure cannot support this mega station. It will end up declining property values, causing traffic backups and become an eye sore for the prettiest part of the county. I seriously hope the board does what is best for the county.

  3. How large is a Mega Station? If there is not enough business the station will not survive. It will raise the value of the property it will sit on. The
    current infrastructure cannot support tract housing, yet, it is still being built. Eyesore? It will reside on a section of road that already has two stores, 3 schools, a Moose Lodge and a garage within a quarter mile or so of each other. Not to mention a mega tract housing entrance. If you had some facts you would have a point. Do you even know who wants to build this thing? What his actual plans are? Don’t these so called wine farms and others try to drag people off the interstate? Traffic backups because
    of a fuel station? If there is such a desperate need for this that it will cause
    traffic backups it should be built. Too bad that I can not be the owner of this gold mine…

  4. Wow, Edward. Personal much?? No facts?? I actually have loads of facts and have lived in Crozet (save college + grad school) my entire life. I live half a mile from this proposed site and drive past 4 times a day. I know exactly who the builder of this is. Most of Crozet does. It will NOT increase any property values–it will hurt them. It will increase truckers on 250 W which will (especially during school morning and afternoons) be a traffic nightmare. Of course we need businesses and to grow. But a mega-station (sheetz size or greater) is not smart growth. Let him build his station–just within the current regulations. NO EXCEPTIONS.

  5. I believe that the applicant should be allowed to build a gas station/convenience store in character with the neighborhood and using the amount of water allowed to them (1624 gallons per day). However, the proposed station is MUCH bigger than surrounding gas staion/convenience stores – 16 pumps (6 stations in the front with two pumps each) and two stations in the back for diesel in the back with two pumps each). The latest water fixture information from the applicant shows their calcuations at a 24 hour per day rate.

  6. Looks like I sent my prior comment prior to my finishing.
    The balance of my comments:
    The Special Use Permit public hearing regarding the applicant’s request for more than their allotment of water from a well on the property is in front of the Planning Commission this Tuesday evening.
    The meeting starts at 6 p.m., but the item is not the first thing on the agenda, so you could come at 6:30 p.m. and still be part of the public hearing. The hearing is in Lane Auditorium, County Office Building on McIntire Road.

    The Staff recommendation is ‘for’ the project, with the condition that the applicant monitor water usage and cap the usage at 1,625 gallons per day, with no comment about what should happen if water usage is exceeded. Additionally, the staff report states that there is not enough data to determine if there is an adequate water supply for this project, but they recommend going forward with it anyway. Is that protecting the health and welfare of the county taxpayers?

    The 4,750 square ft. gas station/convenience store/truck stop project is not connected to water and sewer, and the County Zoning Administrator has determined that the applicant needs a Special Use Permit, given the size of the proposed development and its water consumption. Any applicant needs a Special Use Permit to build when the County determines that they are going to pull more than 400 gallons of water per site acre per day from a project on a well. The site is approximately 4 acres in size, which would give the owner an allotment of 1,600 gallons of water per day to pull from the ground, (4 acres x 400 gallons per site acre per day). The County has determined that the project will use more than the allotted 1,600 gallons per day, and so a Special Use Permit is needed. Although the applicant maintains that they won’t use their full allotment of water, he did not make an appeal to the county on this matter. Therefore, a public hearing will be regarding that permit. A traffic study will not be concluded until after the Special Use Permit hearing, so it is not known how many vehicle trips this project will be generating. Neighbors are asking that the traffic study come before the permit hearing, so that the water usage figures are connected to how many vehicles will be served by the project. Additionally, the plans show a 7,000 sq. ft addition to the gas station, and the applicant has been forthcoming that this addition is part of the site plans. However, the water needs for this addition have not been addressed, nor has the County insisted that the full plans for the site be shown prior to approval of the initial building.

    Even though there is controversy about the comparables provided by the owner, the County staff report does not address this. (The Sheetz station on Route 29 North in Greene County uses approximately 2,000 gallons per day. The Bellair Market uses 1,190 gallons per day.)

    Just attending the Special Use Permit hearing is important – don’t feel like you need to talk! If you can’t get to the meeting, and you want to write to the Planning Commissioners, you can do that at [email protected]

    The Planning Commission June 8 meeting agenda can be found at the link below. The agenda includes both the special use permit request and the site plan. Following the link below will take you to the staff report and attachments for each. Beware that the staff report will take awhile to download as the document has many attachments and is 147 pages long due to all of those attachments. The actual staff report is not very long.

  7. Thank you Mary, for your factual and informative comments. I think that all those attending the June 8 meeting should stick to the points of water usage and the fact that they should not base their decision on the owner’s claim that they will not use more water than the allotment. On what facts is that claim made? The traffic study is also an important element to emphasize. A special use permit should only be issued if the proposal benefits the common good, and if there is any question of a detriment to the common good, then it should be denied. Scale back the plans and operating hours. If that business model does not work, then find a better commercial use for the property that meets current guidelines.

  8. To say that this new business wil not increase the value of the property that it will be built on is just denying the truth. If you had ever bought land and made improvements you would know that. The scare tactics being used here I doubt will work.If it would there would be alot less tract housing. I guess that you still have not lived here long enough to know that gas stations are not the problem. If the owner claims he will use no more than 1600 gallons a day of water why is he wrong? Can you actually
    prove any of these claims? He is motivated to do what he says, it’s a good business practice. If the 7,000 square foot addition is a repair shop then
    what? Would that not be considered normal for a truck stop? Does that not make sense? Start up, see how business is, expand services if needed?
    And, you know for a fact that this business can not fail. Only expand, clogging the roads, ruining the views, using all the water. You should all
    go to the meeting and throw these accusations at the owner and let him
    answer. Take responsibility for what you say. You avoid problems that way. The whole Crozet Square parling problem could of been avoided
    if a certain women from a Square business would of not cussed the railroad employee’s out. Imagine that…

Something to say?