December 28, 2010


City seeks more detail on gas station plans

Planning Commission reviews preliminary site plan for store on Tompkins Street

Staff Reporter

The city Planning Commission took its first look at a long-expected project to expand the Mobil gas station on Tompkins Street into a larger store on a bigger parcel of land that would include a food chain.
Commissioners completed a preliminary site review of the site at 162 Tompkins St, raising conerns over traffic flow and green space.
The proposed building, which will replace the current station on the corner of Tompkins Street and Broadway, will be on the site of the current Express Mart and the adjacent vacant lot that was home to Jreck Subs.
The two properties will need to be consolidated.
The 24-hour gas station will include a food chain, but representatives from Express Mart said it was not certain if Tim Horton’s would be the food chain in the store, as has been rumored.
The representatives said they would like to guide the plan through the commission, the city Zoning Board of Appeals and county Planning Board during the winter, and start construction in the spring.
Developer Patrick Hyde asked that the plan be sent to county Planning, but the commission denied the request since a full plan, including lighting, stormwater drainage and signs is needed.
The commission also was concerned about the turning radius of tractor-trailers filling the underground gasoline tanks on the site.
The representatives said they would return with more information to show that it would not be a problem.
The commission also expressed the need to see more green space on the property, and more green buffers around two nearby residential properties.
The number of gas pumps will decrease from six to four, with an additional pump for kerosene.
The underground tanks will be replaced under the supervision of the state Department of Environmental Conservation.
The project still needs to receive approval from the commission, the DEC, and the state Department of Transportation for curb cuts, as well as a special use permit and a variance on parking spaces from the ZBA.
City code says the project would need 49 parking spaces, but the plan provided has 20.
After the meeting, the representatives said it was too early in the planning process to comment on the proposal.
An expansion of the gas station and food mart onto the site of the former sandwich shop has been discussed for about five years.
REROB LLC, a DeWitt-based company that owns Express Mart, bought the adjacent Jreck Subs property in October 2005, and tore down the building about a year ago.


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