Proposed new store clears big hurdle
Posted: January 9, 2013
The Winchester Star
BERRYVILLE — Soil testing has apparently given the proposed site for a new convenience store north of Berryville a clean bill of health.
“The results look very good,” said Evan Wyatt, of Greenway Engineering.
The Clarke County Planning Commission heard the report at its work session Tuesday afternoon. The commissioners will hold a public hearing on the rezoning request and the site plan for 3355 Lord Fairfax Highway (U.S. 340) at its meeting on Friday.
Mahlon A. Jones, owner of D&B Management Services Inc., is seeking a conditional rezoning for the almost six acres of land to replace an existing store — the 340 Cigarette Outlet — with a new one, which would offer gasoline sales.
Jones would create a new entrance for the store, which would improve what the Virginia Department of Transportation says is a dangerous situation.
Currently, cars coming to the store pull directly off U.S. 340 at the top of a blind hill. Vehicles leaving the store can’t see oncoming traffic until it tops the hill.
VDOT officials say Lord Fairfax Highway carries about 15,000 vehicle trips per day at that location, with 9 percent of the traffic being heavy trucks.
Jones has purchased additional land to build a deceleration lane for traffic coming into his establishment. The site plan also calls for the new convenience store and gas pumps to be farther from the highway.
In October, the Planning Commission asked for subsurface testing because new storage tanks for fuel will be part of the site plan.
Because much of the county’s subsurface is limestone, which can dissolve in water and is subject to sinkholes, the commission wanted reassurance that the site was safe.
Wyatt said the testing showed “no rocks and no caverns,” and, at the request of the county’s experts, test borings were also done on the site.
Wyatt said those show most of the area is clay soil.
“I think what you will see Friday you will be happy with,” Wyatt said.
Attending the meeting at the Joint Government Center were Chairman George Ohrstrom and commissioners Anne Caldwell, Cliff Nelson, William “Chip” Steinmetz, Clay Brumback, Jon Turkel, Richard Thuss, Scott Kreider and Robina Rich Bouffault.
— Contact Val Van Meter at email@example.com