Development resketched to fit historic district Design offered for store, gas station plan

August 19, 1993|By Donna E. Boller | Donna E. Boller,Staff Writer

Business people planning to build a downtown convenience store, sandwich shop and gas station got a look last night at the Westminster Historic District Commission's ideas on how to make it fit the neighborhood.

Stanley H. "Jack" Tevis III, president of Tevis Oil Co., and his mother, Dorothy Tevis, the board chairwoman, said they would have their engineers and architects look at a commission sketch but made no commitment. They plan to build a 24-hour Jiffy Mart and Subway sandwich shop with a drive-through window and gas pumps on an unused lot at West Main and Carroll streets.

"I'm not so stuffy as to demand a Victorian structure [for the Jiffy Mart]. But there is a feel to this downtown street and it would be nice if your architect could get that feel," said commission member Connie Humphrey.

The session was the commission's first attempt to influence structural design in the downtown area. The panel has no legal authority, but can make recommendations to city planners.

Dean R. Camlin, an architect and the commission chairman, sketched the convenience store at the front of the property, with the gas pumps behind it, reversing the locations in Mr. Tevis' plan.

Mr. Camlin also drew a two-story facade, which he said would fit with similar neighborhood buildings. He put a turret containing the Shell Oil Co. logo at one end of the building.

The chairman said his plan would preserve the drive-through window. It would close one of the two existing entrances off Main Street.

Mr. Camlin criticized the Tevis plan last month at a city zoning appeals board hearing. He said the exterior features, which include a 20-foot pylon sign, 18-foot lighted canopy and 14-foot building entrance, are more appropriate to a highway store.

Mr. Tevis said last night that he welcomed the commission's ideas.

"We've been part of this community since 1932," he said. "We'll take the feedback and mold it into what we're doing, if it's feasible."

The zoning board deferred ruling on the special exception Mr. Tevis needs to use the property. The three-member board is expected to rule after a hearing Aug. 31 on a related request for an advertising sign larger than the city zoning law allows.

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