CAPE CARTERET — A new gas station is coming to town, thanks to action by the Cape Carteret Board of Commissioners Monday night.
At its monthly session, in town hall and on GoToMeeting, the board approved the commercial site plan for a Lowes Foods gas station and food kiosk at the intersection of Highway 24 and Enterprise Avenue, which leads south into the Carteret Crossing Shopping Center and the anchor Lowes Foods grocery.
The vote was 4-1, with Commissioner Steve Martin the sole opposition. He said it was one of the best commercial plans he’d seen in terms of detail and adhering to town ordinances, but he didn’t like the location.
“I just think it needs to be pushed back into the shopping center,” Mr. Martin said. “That’s just my opinion.”
The commissioner said he believed a gas station right at the busy intersection – Anita Forte Drive is on the other side of the highway – could cause vehicles to stack up on Highway 24, potentially tying up traffic.
Mr. Martin said he’d rather see traffic backed up within the shopping center than on the highway at the traffic light.
The town planning board recommended approval of the site plan earlier this month, though a couple of members questioned stormwater runoff potential.
Commissioner Mike King said Monday he didn’t think it would have a significant impact since stormwater already flows under the highway from the Marine Federal Credit Union’s parking lot to artificial wetlands created by the N.C. Coastal Federation in front of Cape Carteret Baptist and Presbyterian churches on the south side of the highway.
The site of the new gas station is already completely paved.
The federation’s runoff system has been in disrepair since Hurricane Florence overwhelmed it in 2018, but the N.C. Department of Transportation is expected to take bids soon for a project to repair it.
Mr. King, who voted to approve the site plan Monday, said he wished “something else could go there,” but noted the use was allowed under the existing B-20 (shopping center) zoning district classification and the town had no choice but to approve it since it met the requirements.
The site is that of the former Marine Federal Credit Union building, which will be razed.
“It’s really no different than Starbucks, which we just OK’d,” Mr. King said.
Starbucks will replace the nearby former PNC Bank building, which has already been razed and sits on the same side of the highway as the planned gas station.
The Lowes Foods gas station plan was submitted by The Isaacs Group, a civil engineering firm based in Charlotte, and shows three parking spaces, including one accessible space. Town manager Zach Steffey said during the meeting that’s one more parking space than is required, total, under the ordinance.
The board meeting held a public comment period on the plan, but no one spoke.
Contact Brad Rich at 252-864-1532; email Brad@thenewstimes.com; or follow on Twitter @brichccnt.