Delaware City Council approved final development plans for a Speedway gas station and convenience store at U.S. 23 and Hills-Miller Road at its meeting Monday.
Council waived the customary three readings of the ordinance, following its unanimous passage last week by the City Planning Commission. The council vote was 6-0-1, with Chris Jones abstaining.
“There is, as I said at the planning commission (meeting), really no reason to not recommend approval of this case at this time,” said city Planning and Community Director David Efland before the vote.
The land was annexed into the city in 1968 and is zoned as a general business district, which permits a gas station. Enon, Ohio-based Speedway LLC purchased the property in May 2014, and City Council approved preliminary development plans last October.
Some residents along Hills-Miller have voiced concerns about the Speedway from the beginning, including environmental impact, increased traffic, road damage, safety, and overnight semi-truck parking. While a few residents had continued questions at last week’s planning commission meeting, there was no opportunity for public comment after the ordinance was read Monday.
Speedway will begin construction in the summer, which is expected to take 5-6 months. A Speedway representative said the station will likely open in early 2017.
The 4,608 square-foot gas station and convenience store would sit on the northwest corner of 23 and Hills Miller. It would be accessed by a right-in/right-out curb cut on 23, and a full-movement curb cut on Hills Miller. The gas station would have seven fueling islands for passenger vehicles and three separate diesel fueling bays for semi-trucks. There would be 34 parking spaces for passenger vehicles, and none for semis.
The development would be on 4.8 acres of the 12.9-acre property, with eight acres undeveloped, and four of those acres being a permanent conservation easement. There is room for an access road to connect to properties in the north if needed, but it will remain unpaved for now. Efland said the former Obee’s gas station, adjacent to the property, is in Troy Township.
Speedway has agreed to some enhancements for the final plan, including the use of Delaware limestone as a building material. Trees have recently been cleared from the site, and Speedway will pay the city’s Shade Tree Commission $117,000 in lieu of replanting. “They’re preserving more than half of the trees that pre-existed on this site,” Efland said.
One of the 22 conditions Speedway would have to abide by was changed by the planning commission. They were concerned about the appearance of products outside the store, considering the site is an entrance into the city. The condition was then changed to read that “outdoor merchandise (ice box, propane tanks, etc.) shall be located on the north side of the building” and be contained within 2- to 3-foot-high walls made of the same material as the rest of the building.
In addition, a “No Overnight Parking” sign along the exterior driveway will be changed to “No Parking.”
“I think it looks very nice,” said Mayor Carolyn Kay Riggle before the vote.
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0904 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.