The Oak Ridge City Council has approved a rezoning that could allow a Weigel’s on South Illinois Avenue.
Council approved the rezoning in a 6-1 vote during the first of two readings on Monday. It will be considered during a second and final reading on Oct. 10.
The rezoning would allow the proposed gas station and convenience store on a 1.5-acre parcel south of TNBank. The 3,900-square-foot store could open by 2013.
The Oak Ridge Municipal Planning Commission had recommended the rezoning in a 7-3 vote last month, but some city officials said they had concerns about cars turning left off South Illinois Avenue to enter the gas station and turning left to get back onto the busy roadway. South Illinois Avenue is used by more than 37,000 vehicles per day.
Weigel’s real estate director Chris Ooten said a traffic study expected to be done by Wednesday should address the city’s concerns.
“We’re committed to doing the best job that we can,” Ooten said.
That study could be considered by the Oak Ridge Traffic Safety Advisory Board before the Oct. 10 City Council meeting.
Oak Ridge City Council member Ellen Smith cast the only vote against the rezoning on Monday. She said she was forced to vote before she was ready by a “call for the question,” a procedure that ended debate and forced a vote.