An old gas station on upper Main Street will be demolished and rebuilt as a facility with a convenience store and drive-thru coffee shop.
The Stratford zoning commission Tuesday approved the application of the Hunter Development Company to redevelop the existing gas station at 7294-7296 Main St., adjacent to the Oronoque Shopping Plaza.
Project engineer Mark Smith said the existing gas station and a house on the property would both be torn down. The two lots will be combined into one, and new landscaping will be planted.
The drive-thru window serving coffee and donuts would allow a queue of 14 cars to wait in line around the back of the building, Smith said.
"I think overall it will be an improvement for the property," Smith said.
His neighbors agreed. Frank Ferraro, part owner of the neighboring shopping center, spoke in favor of the application on the grounds it would make the area more attractive.
As did Dr. Bob Spriglio of Lord Chamberlain, the nursing home that is adjacent to the south, although he asked the zoning commission to make sure the new gas station doesn’t cause traffic problems for the nursing home’s delivery and staff driveway entrance.
Zoning administrator Gary Lorentson asked the developers to alter their plans to give the gas station one-way driveways. Traffic would enter at the north driveway and exit to the south, which conforms to the traffic flow past the property.
The gas station is at a curve on state highway Route 110 where motorists usually drive at speeds of 40 to 50 mph, said Lorentson, adding that cars entering and leaving the Oronoque Shopping Plaza driveway just to the north would make it an even more complicated traffic location.
But Smith argued that the gas station would not increase traffic. It is not the kind of business that would be patronized by customers driving across town to get there, he said. Instead, the customers would be people who are already driving by on their way somewhere else, Smith said.
Zoning commission member Michael Henrick made the motion to approve the application.
"It’s a busy road and there’s going to be traffic," he said. But Henrick didn’t think the new gas station would increase traffic or cause accidents.
Lorentson said the developer would prepare new plans showing the changes within six months before getting his building permits.
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