Thursday, January 20, 2022

Lightfoot Wawa developer adjusts application to put project back on track

A developer has requested a special use permit from James City County and York County to build a Wawa at the corner of Lightfoot and Richmond roads. (WYDaily/Courtesy York County)
A developer has requested a special use permit from James City County and York County to build a Wawa at the corner of Lightfoot and Richmond roads. (WYDaily/Courtesy York County)

Despite a rocky start in James City County, a Wawa gas station proposed for Lightfoot is back on track.

After the Planning Commission declined to recommend approval for the proposed Wawa in early February — citing issues with signage and the gas station canopy — the Wawa developer returned last week with adjusted plans to address the concerns.

“We have wanted to make sure everything was consistent with similar applications the board has approved in past years, like the gas pumps at Harris Teeter,” James City County Planning Director Paul Holt said.

Holt said the applicant, Doswell Ventures LLC, revised their plans to address the concerns, including removing a digital sign and changing the canopy roof design so it has a peak.

Now staff recommends the project’s special use permit be approved, Holt said.

Planning staff had previously recommended denial of the application because of concerns with the appearance of the project. The Wawa would be in a community character corridor, where certain visual impacts must be mitigated by certain architectural design and landscaping.

The Planning Commission voted against recommending the project for approval at their Feb. 6 meeting for reasons outlined by the staff report.

The project, which would renovate an existing Exxon gas station property to make way for the 5,850-square-foot Wawa with six gas pumps, has not been approved by the Board of Supervisors.

Despite a rocky start in James City County, a Wawa gas station proposed for Lightfoot is back on track. (WYDaily/Courtesy James City County Planning Department)
Despite a rocky start in James City County, a Wawa gas station proposed for Lightfoot is back on track. (WYDaily/Courtesy James City County Planning Department)

The request for a special use permit to build the Wawa will now head to the Board of Supervisors meeting on March 12, during which the board will hold a public hearing and vote.

Because the Wawa property straddles the James City County-York County line, it requires special use permits from both localities.

The York County Planning Commission recommended approval of the application in January. It was set for a public hearing at the Feb. 19 York County Board of Supervisors meeting, but was deferred until the March 19 meeting at the request of the applicant, York County Deputy Planning Director Tim Cross said.

RELATED STORY: A Wawa gas station may be coming to this Williamsburg-area intersection

VDOT traffic studies have estimated the project will generate about 1,383 vehicle trips per day on weekdays. Of those trips, 63 percent in the morning peak-hour and 66 percent in the evening peak-hour are “pass-by” trips drawn from the existing traffic steam, according to the documents.

Wawa is making the commitment to make traffic improvements at the intersection as part of the project.

“It’ll help to revitalize that whole corner,” Holt said.

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Sarah Fearing
Sarah Fearing is the Assistant Editor at WYDaily. Sarah was born in the state of Maine, grew up along the coast, and attended college at the University of Maine at Orono. Sarah left Maine in October 2015 when she was offered a job at a newspaper in West Point, Va. Courts, crime, public safety and civil rights are among Sarah’s favorite topics to cover. She currently covers those topics in Williamsburg, James City County and York County. Sarah has been recognized by other news organizations, state agencies and civic groups for her coverage of a failing fire-rescue system, an aging agriculture industry and lack of oversight in horse rescue groups. In her free time, Sarah enjoys lazing around with her two cats, Salazar and Ruth, drinking copious amounts of coffee and driving places in her white truck.

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