The James City County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously at its meeting Tuesday evening to approve an application to build a Wawa convenience store at the corner of Lightfoot and Richmond roads.
The Wawa will take the place of an Exxon gas station, bringing a 5,850-square-foot Wawa with six gas pumps.
“We’re not taking new land, we’re taking old land and redeveloping it into something better,” Supervisor Michael Hipple said.
The Board of Supervisors had a public hearing for the Wawa application Tuesday. One resident spoke, citing concerns with increased traffic.
To help mitigate traffic, the developer, Doswell Ventures LLC, will make some improvements to the Lightoot and Richmond roads intersection.
A traffic impact analysis says 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 agenda documents.
A land use narrative filed with the application says the Wawa construction alone will cost about $5 million. The convenience store will employ 30 to 40 people.
The Wawa application previously hit a bump on the road in early February when the Planning Commission voted against recommending the application for approval. Staff also declined to recommend the application for approval.
Before Tuesday’s meeting, the plan was adjusted and modifications were made to signage, landscaping, bike lane and gas pump canopy components of the project.
Those changes allowed the project to gain staff approval.
Some supervisors said they were happy the developer moved the bike lane farther away from a turn lane along Richmond Road.
“I appreciate that you’re taking bicyclists into consideration,” Supervisor Sue Sadler said.
Because the Wawa property straddles the James City County-York County line, it also requires special use permits from both localities. One gas pump, a strip of landscaping, part of the gas canopy, and parts of a pedestrian connection and sidewalk are in James City County.
The application will now be considered by the York County Board of Supervisors, which is scheduled to hear the application March 19.
The James City County Board of Supervisors also had a public hearing to amend an ordinance to allow dogs to legally be off-leash in a designated area of certain county parks.
Supervisors voted unanimously to approve the change.
Parks and Recreation Director John Carnifax said the off-leash areas will be designated at Upper County Park, Chickahominy Riverfront Park, Freedom Park, Jamestown Beach Event Park and Veterans Park.
The off-leash areas will be open May through October this year.
The areas will be marked at all four corners by sections of fence, and also include dog waste stations.
Carnifax said there about 16,000 dogs in James City County. Based on the number of dogs and best practices for dog parks, the county should have two dog parks.
While the county has access to the Waller Mill dog park, it would need a second one to fill that need.
Some supervisors questioned whether the pilot program could start at just one park instead of six, but voted to start it at all six parks at Carnifax’s discretion.
Carnifax is able to remove the off-leash designation at any time.
There were no public speakers on the topic of off-leash dog areas.