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A plan to build a Wendy’s near the Martin’s gas station on Monticello Avenue has gained support from the James City County Planning Commission.
The Planning Commission on Wednesday heard the construction plans for a new Wendy’s in WindsorMeade Marketplace and voted 6-1, with Commissioner Tim O’Connor (At Large) opposed, to recommend the county’s Board of Supervisors issue a special use permit for the project. A public hearing before the commission’s vote had a single speaker in support of the plan.
On May 28, the Development Review Committee – which comprises five of the full seven-member Planning Commission – heard details of the plan and raised concerns with traffic along WinsdorMeade Way.
During a WindsorMeade Retirement Community meeting May 7, residents brought up similar concerns with increased traffic and safety and accessibility for bikers and pedestrians.
“Residents noted that the traffic pattern in the area is often confusing and congested and that accidents occur on a regular basis,” reads a staff memo to the commission.
County staff asked the James City County Police Department for accident information, and was told there have been 12 reported accidents between September 2010 and May 2014 on WindsorMeade Way, but only two happened within the last year. No accidents were reported on Old News Road in the same timeframe.
“Per the Police, the majority of these crashes were the fault of motorists who failed to yield the right-of-way. A high percentage of these listed crashes could be reduced if motorists would take more time to make sure the lane(s) are clear to merge into from the shopping center or gas station access road,” the staff memo reads.
To help offset some traffic issues, the landowner has proposed some changes to the road and signage:
- Painting the curb yellow around the cut-through road for the gas station and painting stripes on the roadway to indicate which direction traffic should move along the road;
- Extending the sidewalk from WindsorMeade Way to the bus stop near PetSmart;
- Putting money toward striping to extend the median on WindsorMeade Way, painting directional arrows on WindsorMeade Way and painting a crosswalk on Old News Road.
Additionally, staff has proposed the owner paint another crosswalk on Old News Road near the proposed Wendy’s and gas station cut through and allow only one entrance for Wendy’s.
H. Donald Nelson, a WindsorMeade resident, turned out for the public hearing to commend the Wendy’s team on an excellent presentation. He said the community stands in support of the plan to build the new fast food restaurant.
Convinced the traffic issues would be mitigated, the commission recommended the Board of Supervisors approve the special use permit request. The decision is projected to be put before the board, which will also hold a public hearing, on July 8.