Appeals board approves Westminster Jiffy Mart CENTRAL--Union Mills * Westminster * Sandymount * Finksburg

September 01, 1993|By Donna E. Boller | Donna E. Boller,Staff Writer

A Westminster fuel oil distributor won quick approval yesterday for a downtown convenience store, sandwich shop and gasoline station with an advertising sign that exceeds city zoning law limits.

The city zoning appeals board action cleared the way for Tevis Oil Co. to submit its plan for a Jiffy Mart, Shell station and Subway shop to the Westminster planning commission.

The board's decision imposed none of the changes in signs or lighting sought by city residents who testified at a one-hour public hearing yesterday.

The three-member board unanimously approved a special exception that will allow Tevis Oil to use the half-acre lot at West Main and Carroll Streets for the store and filling station, plus variances for a 2-by-20-foot Jiffy Mart sign and about 25 percent more total square footage in signs than the city's zoning law permits.

Board members heard the special exception request July 19.

Tevis Oil is working on "what we can do to soften the presentation," said Stanley H. "Jack" Tevis III, the company's president.

He said he scrapped his original plan for a 20-foot-tall pylon sign after "the feedback from the community was that perhaps a 20-foot-tall illuminated Shell sign in downtown Westminster was overkill and not necessary for us to be successful."

The new plan calls for a "monument sign" at the corner of Carroll and Main streets.

The 8-foot-by-8-foot sign would be a solid structure that displays gasoline prices and a lighted message board.

Attorney J. Brooks Leahy, who represented the oil distributorship, said the sign would be placed so it doesn't block the view of cars turning from Carroll Street onto Main Street.

Several residents expressed concern about potential impact on traffic.

If Mr. Tevis eliminated the message board, he could erect a sign that wouldn't decrease visibility from Carroll Street, said Pennsylvania Avenue resident Shannon Rammes.

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