The former home of a fitness center on St. Georges Avenue would be transformed into a Wawa convenience store and gas station, under an application that’s expected to be heard tonight before the Zoning Board of Adjustment.
The application originally was scheduled to be heard at the June Zoning Board meeting, but the applicant, 280 St. Georges Ave., LLC, wanted more time to address issues raised in the city’s planning and engineering reports.
The 3.7-acre property is partially located within two zones: 68 percent of it falls within the B-2 zone and 32 percent within the R-2 zone. The applicant is seeking final preliminary site plan with a use ‘d’ variance, conditional use, and bulk ‘c’ variance and design waiver approval. A convenience retail store and auto gas service is not permitted in an R-2 zone.
The initial application proposed a 5,051-square-foot convenience store with 6 gas pumps located under a 5,280-square-foot canopy. A right-in and right-out driveway would be located on St. Georges Avenue with a full movement driveway on Murray Street. Gym use generated the same traffic on Murray Street but the proposed use would generate significantly higher amount of traffic due to customers wanting to continue north on St. Georges Avenue, according to a report by the city’s engineer.
The initial application sought a number of other variances related to buffers, fuel tanks, curb cuts, and driveway width, as well as a waiver for the size of free-standing signage. The proposal would provide 58 parking spaces, nearly double the 32 spaces required.
In all zones where a multi-family, commercial or industrial development zone line abuts single-family residential zone, a 20-foot buffer must be maintained but only a buffer of 1.7 feet was proposed. The nearest residential property is about 130 feet from the existing gym building but the initial proposal would be within 82 feet.