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.
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.
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.