There are more hurdles to clear before a Weigel’s can be built on South Illinois Avenue, but a city board has recommended that a 1.5-acre parcel south of TNBank be rezoned for the proposed gas station and convenience store.
The Oak Ridge Municipal Planning Commission recommended the rezoning in a 7-3 vote Thursday.
The vote came after city officials briefly discussed how vehicles would enter and leave the 3,900-square-foot store, which could open by 2013. Officials were concerned about the impact of traffic turning left off South Illinois Avenue to enter the gas station and turning left to get back onto the busy roadway.
Oak Ridge City Engineer Steve Byrd said he would not recommend full access to the store, but he would support a right-turn-in, right-turn-out traffic flow.
However, Chris Ooten, Weigel’s real estate director, said only allowing right turns into and out of the store would kill the project.
“That takes convenience out of convenience store,” he told planning commissioners.
Ooten said he is hopeful that a traffic study will help resolve the traffic flow problem.
Ooten also addressed a concern raised by Woodland neighborhood resident Joy Henderson, who said the store could be open all the time, with lots of lights and traffic.
Ooten said the Oak Ridge Weigel’s would not be open all the time. He said a typical Weigel’s store is open from 6 a.m. to midnight.
Voting to recommend the rezoning to Oak Ridge City Council were Planning Commission Chair Terry C. Domm, Vice Chair Kelly S. Callison, and commissioners Chuck Agle, Charlie Hensley, Austin E. Lance, Claudia Lever, and Patrick E. McMillan.
Voting against it were commissioners Lauren R. Biloski, Linda L. Brown, and Jane L. Shelton. Brown said the traffic concern was her only concern.
City Council is expected to consider the rezoning in the first of two readings during a Sept. 10 meeting. City officials expect a traffic impact study to be presented to Council, which will likely also want a recommendation from the Oak Ridge Traffic Safety Advisory Board.
Ooten said the new Weigel’s store would have eight multiple pumps, or 16 pumps total.
The gas station would be on land owned by Shailesh Patel, who once proposed building a hotel there.
So it’s alright to cut down 30 trees to put in underground tanks and cover them with impermeable asphalt? –then add add 500 car exhausts to a residential neighborhood?
The sin is not in asking first.
Fascism is government by regulation. The city adm. Will never understand this.
If we don’t get more businesses like Weigel’s in Oak Ridge we won’t have to worry about traffic — the City is dying. Get with it Oak RIdge Leadership and open your eyes to the need for these fine businesses. We need more cooperation and less trying to find problems with any proposals that, at this point in the economy, Oak Ridge is even lucky to have offered!
I agree MJP…this is a great opportunity for sales tax generation on Illinois Ave. considering there are no gas stations on that side of the road between race track in Solway and Hilltop…This one seems to be a no brainer…but that never stopped our fine community before…
About four years ago the city council was asked to approve a service station at Pellissipi and Union Valley. Only local property owner objected. The city council denied the request.
The location now will cause a terrible traffic problem.
However, if the city wants to grow tear up most of the oppressive ordinances.
Chris Zorn says
Living in this area I agree with TJ. The traffic is terrible now without the Weigels. And with the opening of the 2 new restuarants with in a block away traffic is going to be even more worse. I know there is mention of fast food place going in at the old Dean Stallings location and there is a lot nearby that could hose the Weigels. With the movement of Quincy St they could put up a traffic light to allow left and right turns. Heck even toss a red light camera onto that traffic light and raise more money for an outside business. The mall could be torn down as well and NUMEROUS things can be located there. But then again these businesses will just close up in about 2 years anyways. I’m not against the Weigles. I think the city should do more to retain the businesses that are here now. Not chase away the mom and pop shops that we have.