MONROE, CT — Planning and Zoning Commission members came to a consensus that the gas station-convenience store proposed at 846 Main St., on vacant property across from Tollgate Plaza, fulfills a need for a gas station near the Newtown town line, while offering diesel for trucks.
“I like the location,” said Nicole Lupo, a commission alternate who served as an active member in Vice Chairman Bruno Maini’s absence Thursday night. “Once you pass the Route 59 intersection, there’s nothing.”
Planning and Zoning Administrator Rick Schultz will draft a resolution for approval to be voted on at the commission’s next meeting.
The site, which is at the corner of Pepper Street and Main Street (Route 25), would have a driveway from Pepper Street, coming out to a traffic signal at the intersection with Main Street. It would also have a driveway directly on Route 25.
Commissioner Leon Ambrosey said his only concern is that the driveway directly on Main Street would allow drivers to turn right and left, while leaving the site.
Ambrosey expressed his belief that the site is too close to the busy intersection to allow left turns onto Route 25 from its driveway, because when traffic backs up in the left turn lane at the traffic light on Main Street vehicles would block egress from the left lane of the gas station driveway.
“I only want right lane egress,” he said.
Lupo said she agrees with Ambrosey on that point, but added, “I think eventually people will learn not to turn left there during rush hour.”
Secretary Ryan Condon said some drivers may go into the left lane of the driveway to leave, become impatient, then try to shift into the right lane.
“I just don’t like being in a parking lot that’s too restrictive,” Commissioner Robert Westlund said. “I understand during busy periods it’s not enticing to turn south. I understand we need common sense.”
“I don’t want to restrict the access,” Chairman Michael O’Reilly agreed.
During the continued hearing Thursday night, the applicant, Three D Realty LLC, was represented by Matt Baldino, an assistant project manager and licensed professional engineer with Solli Engineering LLC, a Monroe firm.
Baldino said they moved the Main Street driveway as far away from the intersection with the traffic light as they could, adding once cars clear the turn lane on the green light, vehicles should have space to turn left from the gas station driveway.
The RoadRunners would operate a gas station with 12 fueling positions and the proposal also includes a 2,844-square-foot building with two tenants, one for the convenience store and another for a business with a drive-thru. The hours of the businesses would be 5 a.m. to midnight.
Hussnain Gondal, managing director at The RoadRunners, said the company has gas stations in Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts.
The applicant submitted a traffic study to the Connecticut Department of Transportation as part of its analysis.
On Thursday, Schultz told commissioners town land use staff met with police and fire officials to go over the traffic report, adding both expressed support its conclusion that deliveries can be made without any interference.
Schultz said they were pleased to have a gas station on this side of town to fill the tanks of their emergency vehicles.
Staff also spoke to a neighbor who was concerned over a curb cut on Main Street.
Baldino said they updated their plan to include responses to comments made by police, fire and commissioners. The plan will include a sidewalk along Pepper and Main streets, as well as an emergency generator in the back corner of the property, which was requested by the Police Commission.
Revisions to the plan include an additional pipe on the eastern portion of the property to improve water flow.
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