A new QuikTrip gas station and convenience store planned in the West End failed to move forward Monday after City Council tabled an ordinance to rezone the land on the site where the business is set to locate.
Some council members expressed concern about the design of the store fitting in with the rest of the neighborhood. They wanted to wait on the zoning request until they could get more information about the design plans.
Council can still bring up the ordinance again later.
The area targeted for rezoning is about 0.6 acres near the intersection of Academy and Markley streets. If approved, the land will move from C-4 and RM-2 zoning to C-2, a classification that allows the city to place restrictions on the property and helps protect the neighborhood, according to Michael Kerski, the city’s planning and development manager.
Mayor Knox White and Councilwoman Lillian Brock Flemming voted against tabling the ordinance.
Flemming, who represents the West End, said she has heard from several constituents in favor of the store. Councilwoman Jil Littlejohn said she was concerned with the design because of the store’s location at a gateway to the city. She said she wants to make sure “that it’s something that when people come into Greenville, it doesn’t just look like a gas station.”
Councilman David Sudduth said, “I’d feel a little more comfortable if the process moved further through some of the variances and give an opportunity for the design to be a little bit more thorough.”
Representatives from QuikTrip will still need to go before the Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) on Feb. 11 to get special exceptions to put a convenience store on the property and keep it open 24 hours. Both city staff and the BZA will review the store designs, Kerski said.
The design would include landscaping and retaining walls that would cut down on through traffic, Kerski said.
Mike Snyder, a real estate manager for QuikTrip, told the council he has held multiple neighborhood meetings “because we want to make sure there’s not a doubt in anybody’s mind whether or not this project is going to be a plus for this city or a detriment.”
Even if the site gets rezoned, council must take other action, including the abandonment of two roads, before construction can begin.
Keys Building sign
Developers from the Keys Building on McBee Avenue won council approval for a new LED sign on top of the building. Members of the community had expressed concerns that the new sign would be too bright at night.
Nancy Whitworth, director of economic development for the city, said a study showed that residents would see “an almost undetectable difference in the ambient light.”
The sign will turn off from midnight to 6 a.m., and sensors will reduce the brightness during the night.
Infill standards and other business
Council gave final approval to amend the residential infill standards and to update the Firefighters Pension Fund.
They approved first reading to appropriate $349,000 for contractor MKSK to design plans for a proposed city park and the surrounding area on the West End.
The council also appropriated $5,000 to beautify the Springwood Cemetery and moved forward with plans to rehabilitate Fairforest Way.