A bid to build a Wawa convenience store and gas station at the intersection of Richmond and Lightfoot roads has suffered a setback.
Doswell Ventures, which owns the property at 6446 Richmond Road, wants to build a 6,500-square-foot Wawa convenience store with six gasoline pumps there.
Doswell Ventures already operates an Exxon gas station at the property, which straddles James City and York counties. The Wawa is a way to renovate and redevelop the property, said Tim Trant, an attorney who filed the application on behalf of the land owner.
Though the thought of Wawa’s coffee and sandwiches was enticing, traffic concerns ultimately motivated the Planning Commission to vote down a motion to recommend approval of the special-use permit 2-5 on Wednesday.
“What we are adding is 1,050 turning movements every day and that’s the part that troubles me,” Commission member Tim O’Connor said. “It’s a terrible intersection.”
O’Connor referenced a design team estimate that the Wawa would double trips to the property from the approximately 1,000 daily trips that are taken there now to about 2,000 every day, though those drivers are expected to be the same drivers already traveling Richmond Road.
Commission member Richard Krapf echoed those concerns.
“I personally have no problems with the admitted conditions. My one sticking point … was the traffic impact,” he said after the vote.
Both O’Connor and Krapf voted against recommendation.
The section of Richmond Road between Croaker Road and Centerville Road has an average daily traffic count of 21,000 vehicles. Richmond Road’s intersection with Centerville Road is just south of the property.
“I think this is a much, much better use of this land,” said commission member Jack Haldeman, who voted in favor of recommendation. “If we were considering this as a brand new building on a vacant lot, I might look at it differently, but I think this is better in all regards.”
The permit application now goes to the Board of Supervisors, which is scheduled to consider it March 12.
The land is zoned general business. Given the land is partially in James City and partially in York, both localities need to weigh in on the permit. The York County Planning Commission voted to recommend approval to the York Board of Supervisors on Jan. 9.
In addition to the Wawa, the application proposes a 10-foot multi-use path on Richmond Road to replace an existing sidewalk, new landscaping and shifting the property’s Lightfoot Road access farther from the intersection to better line up with Priority Nissan Williamsburg’s accesses on Lightfoot Road.
Jack Jacobs, 757-298-6007, firstname.lastname@example.org, @jajacobs_