Delaware’s City Planning Commission may again take up a request to place a Speedway gas station and convenience store on U.S. 23 North and Hills Miller Road.
The planning commission meets at 7 p.m. today at City Hall, 1 S. Sandusky St.
The preliminary development plan for the Speedway was tabled by the commission in a 4-3 vote at its meeting on Sept. 2. It would need to be “removed from the table” by the commission in order for action to be taken.
During last month’s 3½-hour meeting, 11 members of the public in a packed room at City Hall spoke out about the gas station. While most accepted the Speedway, they didn’t want it to be used by semi-trucks.
The commission’s staff report said the plan calls for a 4,608-square-foot gas station and convenience store on about 13 acres. The gas station would have seven fueling bays for passenger vehicles and four diesel fueling bays east of the store for semi-trucks.
There would be 32 parking spaces, but “no parking spaces for semi-trucks are provided and no overnight parking signs would be posted throughout the site,” the staff report said. “Speedway has volunteered that their personnel would actively monitor the truck areas to ensure that no trucks are parking on the site long-term or overnight.”
Before tabling the plan last month, the commission did vote 5-2 to add a condition “that no commercial, truck trailer, campers, or motor home traffic be allowed on the property over one hour.”
The staff report also said, “The site would be accessed by a right-in/right-out curb cut on U.S. 23, while a full-movement curb cut would be located on Hills Miller Road.”
The property was annexed into the city in 1968. It is zoned as a general business district, which allows for a gas station. Speedway purchased the parcel last year, but only plans to develop 4.8 acres of the property — three acres will be permanently used as a conservation easement. If approved, Speedway would begin construction next spring and open in the fall.
Before the one-hour condition was approved by the commission, staff did recommend approval of the plan with 19 conditions.
Among those opposing the plan are local residents John and Susan McGrail. In recent emails, they have said the average daily traffic count for U.S. 23 is 35,000, instead of the 17,000 stated in a traffic study; and that Cambridge, Ohio, has traffic snarls, accidents and road degradation due to a truck refueling stop.
John McGrail also states there is an online petition “with supporting comments from 100 other people” about the plan.
“There is a wonderful 14-acre location near the Delaware dam on the divided highway which would accommodate Speedway and truckers much better than at this residential intersection,” McGrail and his wife, Susan, wrote in an email dated Oct. 4.
Other concerns by those in the area include trucks idling at the abandoned Obee’s Marathon gas station on the corner, which is in Troy Township.
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0904 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.