Hearing for store to add gas sales
Posted: October 6, 2012
The Winchester Star
BERRYVILLE — Clarke County’s Planning Commission has set a Nov. 2 public hearing on a request for a rezoning to add gasoline sales to a redesigned convenience store on Lord Fairfax Highway (U.S. 340) north of Berryville.
Evan Wyatt of Greenway Engineering said the landowner’s plans to add a deceleration/right-turn lane into a new commercial entrance for the facility will fix a dangerous highway situation there.
Currently, motorists can’t see the entrance to the store, now the 340 Cigarette Outlet, until after they crest a hill heading north. The entrance is just beyond the crest and drivers have little sight distance, considering the 55 mph speed limit.
Owner Mahlon Jones must have the property rezoned, even though the commercial use is “grandfathered” because gas sales are not allowed in agricultural zones. He needs to have the zoning changed to Highway Commercial for that.
Jones said he also plans to move the facilities farther from the highway.
Wyatt said the design places the four dual-pump service islands about 100 feet back from U.S. 340. The convenience store would be another 75 feet behind the pumps.
Wyatt said that in order to obtain the needed length for the right-turn lane into the store, Jones has purchased the house just south of his land. That way, the lane would be entirely on his property.
“It’s not everybody who would step up to the plate like that,” Wyatt said. “I think you’ve got a good developer.
Jones said the design of the building would also incorporate themes from Clarke County.
Architect H. Allen Kitselman Jr. said he is taking inspiration from the county’s many timber-built barns and wooden fences, along with shapes such as the old stations along the railroad tracks that bisect the county.
Jones said that when he purchased the house beside his property, his neighbor suggested that the store be built to look like the former Berryville station — which was razed by the Norfolk Southern railroad company many years ago.
The building may look somewhat like that and somewhat like other familiar county structures, he said.
Attending the meeting in the Joint Government Center were Vice-Chairman Anne Caldwell and Commissioners Scott Kreider, Jon Turkel, Cliff Nelson, Tom McFillen, Richard Thuss, Clay Brumback and Supervisor John Staelin. Chairman George Ohrstrom was absent.
— Contact Val Van Meter at firstname.lastname@example.org