Developers propose new gas station in place of Maxi Fuel

Apr 29, 2019

Maxi Fuel’s distinctive checkerboard facade could soon be replaced with a much larger gas station and convenience store proposed by a developer.

At the April 24 meeting of the Zoning Board of Appeals, engineer Lucien DiStefano of Bohler Engineering and Attorney Robert Perry represented the project.

The proposal would replace the current Maxi Fuel station, located at the intersection of Cranberry Highway and Tow Road, with a 5,300 square foot convenience store and five two-sided fuel pumps under a canopy, so a total of 10 vehicles could fuel up at once.

The new station would have 33 parking spots and three curb cuts: one allowing cars to enter and exit from Tow Road, one right turn entrance only from Cranberry Highway, and one right turn only entrance and exit on Cranberry Highway.

Much of the debate at the meeting was focused on the placement of these entrances and exits, as town engineer Charles Rowley expressed concern that one of the entrances on Cranberry Highway would be too close to the lighted intersection with Tow Road, and recommended that entrance be removed, especially as there is a second opportunity for people to enter with a right turn further down the road. He also recommended the three parking spaces adjacent to that entrance be removed.

According to a traffic study, the traffic in and out of the gas station would increase from its current rate of about 62 trips a day to about 1,100, although one of the developer’s representatives noted that a trip is defined as each car that enters or exits the property. That means that one car entering and then leaving would be counted as two trips, so the estimated number of vehicles visiting the property each day would be around 550.

The board was also unhappy about the proposed sign height of 25 feet. The town’s bylaws limit the height of signs to 18 feet, which the developer’s representatives agreed to match. They also agreed to consider less bright light bulbs and to remove the three parking spaces Rowley thought were hazardous.

The project will appear before the board again on May 8.