The Fayette Citizen-News Page

Wednesday, June 27, 2001

Racetrac appeal to be heard tomorrow


Developers seeking to build a convenience store and gas station on Ga. Highway 85 next to Lowe's in Fayetteville are still working with the City Council, but they have a few conditions to meet.

The matter is on the agenda for this week's regular council meeting, Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at City Hall.

A special exception has been requested to operate a 3,952-sq. ft. Racetrac store at this location, with 20 gasoline pumps. The Planning and Zoning Commission has recommended denial of the special exception, needed to operate in the C-4 (commercial) zoning district.

An attorney representing the developers has told the City Council that the proposed use is compatible with other enterprises in the area, but some council members disagree. Council has also been advised of the applicants' constitutional objection to the P&Z ruling.

A list of seven council concerns was discussed at last week's council work session. They include:

Having the building face the highway and the canopy with the gas pumps on the back side of the building.

Site lighting in compliance with city regulations.

Having no operator cage or pay window at the facility.

Architecture reflecting the building of influence, which in this case would be Fayette Pavilion.

Additional plant materials supplied to augment the highway corridor buffer.

Moving both curb cuts to the west side of the parcel (the site plan calls for no direct access from the highway).

Exterior surfaces made up of brick up to the cornice line.

While the applicants felt that some of these points could be negotiated, some council members said that all seven points should be met before the special exception is approved.

There is also still some question among council members as to whether this project should be carried out at all.

"I don't think this is an appropriate use," said Councilman Al Hovey-King, citing the applicants' wish to operate around the clock. Hovey-King and other council members have pointed out that Wal-Mart is the only 24-hour operation in the area, and land across the highway is zoned for a subdivision and slated for office-institutional use in the future land use plan.

In response to one comment about the plan before council being an "industry standard" as far as Racetrac was concerned, Hovey-King said that was of no concern to him.

"This is Fayetteville," he said, adding that if the developers wished to come and operate here, they would be considerate of the city's standards.

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