Beaufort board agrees to push Jim Dandy permit decision to September

A concept rendering  of the possible exterior of a Jim Dandy fueling station shows a possible use of property at 1550 Lennoxville Road in Beaufort. Monday, town commissioners agreed to delay a decision on a special-use permit for the controversial project. (Interstate Sign Co. graphic)

BEAUFORT — After briefly continuing a special hearing on the matter Monday, the Beaufort Board of Commissioners agreed to again postpone a decision on a permit for a gas station on Lennoxville Road.

The board consented to push a determination on a request from Jim Dandy Convenience Stores President Jim Davis for a special-use permit to allow a gas station at 1550 Lennoxville Road until the Monday, Sept. 13 board meeting.

The action was continued from the Aug. 9 meeting, during which commissioners requested Mr. Davis provide a traffic study and more detailed information on the environmental impacts.

“I would like to see them be able to have an opportunity to gather their information, and I understand that there’s going to be some time constraints in doing so,” Commissioner Sharon Harker noted.

If granted, the permit would allow Jim Dandy Convenience Stores to retool the lot – currently the home of Austin Veterinary Animal Hospital – into a fueling station and convenience store. The parcel is in a rapidly developing stretch of town and is surrounded by residential properties.

Those neighbors have launched fierce opposition to the gas station and corresponding special-use permit, asking the board to deny it on several grounds, including health and environmental concerns associated with such businesses, worry over the project decreasing their property values and conformity with the town’s future planning.  

During such hearings, only the applicant, expert witnesses and individuals the town deems to have standing are allowed to testify. Monday, five neighbors who claimed standing applied to speak, but were turned down by Mayor Rett Newton after they reported they were not giving new or expert testimony on two topics, environmental impact and traffic regulation.

 Mr. Davis, two of his representatives and one expert witness introduced by opposing neighbors, engineer Dr. Zach Bugg, were allowed to speak.

During a brief presentation, Dr. Bugg introduced some analysis of the site plan, including feedback on traffic access to the site and thoughts on adequacy of the parking.

Sam Barnes, speaking on behalf of the applicant, said they were squeezed to provide a traffic study and other information in time for Monday’s hearing.

“We are also prepared, at this point, if the special-use permit is granted, to enter into the permitting process, which we all know will really dictate the stringent levels of approval and regulation both on these two topics,” he noted.

Commissioners expressed no interest in approving the permit without the requested traffic study and environmental review.

“I would suggest that we delay until we get the complete information from the applicant,” Commissioner Ann Carter said.

To issue a special-use permit, the board must make six findings outlined by state law.

In other action at Monday’s work session, the board:

  • Approved a water rate increase for customers in Eastman Creek subdivision to pass along costs from Carteret County’s recent rate increase.
  • Unanimously approved spending $198,500 to replace the town’s sweeper truck.
  • Heard updates from staff on several ongoing projects.
  • Reviewed the July financial report.
  • Unanimously approved a $7,000 budget amendment to pay for the striping of on-street parking spaces downtown.
  • Agreed to consider minutes from the June 14 meeting and June 28 work session as part of the Sept. 13 consent agenda.
  • Scheduled a public hearing for a request to rezone 302 Cedar St. from B-1 (business) to R-8 (residential) for Sept. 13.
  • Agreed to review a $323,271.33 change order for the ongoing street rehabilitation and sidewalk effort and an appointment to the parks and recreation advisory board at the Sept. 13 meeting.

 

Contact Jackie Starkey at 252-726-7081, ext. 225; email jackie@thenewstimes.com; or follow on Twitter @jackieccnt.

(4) comments

Beaufort123

A convenience store is NOT allowed (even with a special permit) by the Beaufort Town Ordinance in this location as L1 criteria does NOT allow a Convenience Store. The applicant should look for a more suitable location instead of one that is not in accordance with the law.

mcmlxv

Maybe if they keep pushing their decision down the road a "new board" could vote on it. Or do they just hope that the Davis family will give up on this location?

David Collins

Believe it is called Slow Walking hoping things will go away . No decisions containing any hint of controversy will be made between now and the upcoming elections , in my opinion . Could be wrong .

redrightreturn

I believe it’s another example of the town allowing Lennoxville Rd to be used as a private driveway for unplanned, disorganized development. There is no comprehensive publicly approved plan. They need to make infrastructure improvements with all of those new tax dollars as part of a true plan for the entire area if they want the added tax base. Step up and stop blaming DOT.

Welcome to the discussion.

As a privately owned web site, we reserve the right to edit or remove comments that contain spam, advertising, vulgarity, threats of violence, racism, anti-Semitism, or personal/abusive/condescending attacks on other users or goading them. The same applies to trolling, the use of multiple aliases, or just generally being a jerk. Enforcement of this policy is at the sole discretion of the site administrators and repeat offenders may be blocked or permanently banned without warning.