Gas station plan hearing is delayed

Developer needs change in zoning to build one in Waverly Woods

November 16, 2007|By June Arney | June Arney,SUN REPORTER

A gas station owner will get more time to put together a bid to get zoning changed to allow a service station and car wash in Waverly Woods Village Center.

Convenience Retailing LLC has been working on the project for about two years and has attended three public hearings on the matter. A Zoning Board hearing set for last week has been moved to Dec. 12.

"We needed a little bit more time to prepare for our final argument," said Rick Levitan, whose company has gas stations in Dorsey's Search, Owen Brown and Pikesville.

Although some residents and business operators welcome the proposed gas station at Warwick Way and Birmingham Way, others see it simply as preferable to having a fast-food restaurant in that space.

Jonathan Genn, an attorney representing the majority owner of Waverly Woods Development Corp., said the three owners of the corporation that developed the community do not see the inclusion of a gas station as consistent with their original vision.

"The owners believe it would be more appropriate on Marriottsville Road," Genn said. "A gas station on Marriottsville Road by Interstate 70 makes more sense than having it in the middle of the village center."

But the developers are not interested in building a gas station themselves, Genn said.

If Convenience Retailing were to withdraw its zoning appeal to build a station in the center, Waverly Woods Development would be open to Convenience, or someone else, building a gas station on property it owns on Marriottsville Road, Genn said. "We want to maintain the character and quality of the community," he said.

Current zoning allows a traditional restaurant on the site where Convenience Retailing wants to build a service station that would include a small snack shop. Construction of a fast-food restaurant at that location would require a conditional-use permit, according to county zoning officials.

The village center developers would not oppose a stand-alone restaurant, which is an acceptable use under current zoning and in keeping with the original vision, Genn said.

The Department of Planning and Zoning has recommended approval of rezoning to allow the gas station.

"I think if a gas station doesn't go there, it's going to be fast food," Levitan said.

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