The main item on City Council’s agenda today is the controversial Speedway gas station proposal.
Council will hear a second reading of a preliminary development plan for a Speedway gas station and convenience store at U.S. 23 North and Hills Miller Road.
A full presentation and a possible vote could happen at the meeting, which begins at 7 p.m. today in City Hall’s council chambers (second floor) at 1 S. Sandusky St.
Questions brought up by the public at the first reading are expected to be answered.
At the first reading on Oct. 5, Mayor Carolyn Kay Riggle noted that some of the residents opposed to the station were in attendance.
Some residents who would be living near the station have been opposed to it since last year, citing increased traffic, noise and pollution. Now the main concern is residents don’t want it the Speedway to be used to refuel semi-trucks, nor do they want trucks to use it as a truck stop.
On Oct. 5, residents asked if the plan could include a sound wall to reduce noise and headlights at night, re-timing the traffic light, whether the station would offer fleet discounts that might increase traffic, and how many trucks could be parked at any given time.
The city’s staff report said 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 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.”
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.”
Resident Susan McGrail said Hills Miller was too narrow for semi-truck traffic. She cited a similar station at Cambridge, Ohio, with traffic problems that have “drained city coffers.”
While she thanked Speedway officials for their cooperation in making the site look more like a Turkey Hill gas station and convenience store, McGrail said there was still work to be done.
Speedway bought the 12.9-acre property in 2014, which was already zoned as a general business district. That zoning provides business uses, including a gas station.
Staff is recommending approval with 20 conditions, including one from the city’s planning Commission: “No commercial, truck trailer, campers, or motor home traffic shall be allowed on the property for over one hour.”
If approved by City Council, Speedway would also have to submit a more detailed final development plan to the City Planning Commission and council before construction can begin.
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0904 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.