Beavercreek council strikes down RaceTrac gas station on U.S. 35

Case ‘may go to court,’ mayor says.

Beavercreek City Council struck down a proposal to build a large gas station on the corner of U.S. 35 and Factory Road on Monday night.

Georgia-based gas station chain RaceTrac Inc. had proposed a gas station, convenience store and restaurant at the intersection. Council voted not to send a rezoning of the property to a second reading Monday, effectively ending the project.

RaceTrac’s proposal “just didn’t make sense,” for Beavercreek, Mayor Don Adams said.

“Listening to the residents, and how passionate they were about it, and having an idea of what I have experienced over in that area ... traffic cannot be considered, but it just didn’t meet what I think it should be there,” he said.

RaceTrac applied to develop a 24/7 “extended diesel offering gas station,” according to the application, including a 6,000-square-foot convenience store, eight car refueling stations, five diesel refueling stations and 33 parking spots.

Beavercreek’s planning commission in March approved rezoning the property, but the approval made specific mention that the site could not be used as a “truck stop,” eliminating some features RaceTrac had proposed and had caused significant opposition.

Beavercreek residents again packed the city council chambers Monday evening to oppose the development. The location has been continually decried by residents as a “truck stop,” a label that representatives for RaceTrac have denied applies to the project.

Dinsmore and Shohl attorney Richard Tranter, representing RaceTrac, cited Beavercreek’s zoning definition of a truck stop as a facility that “primarily” serves as fueling or parking for truck vehicles, adding that any attempt to negate the truck traffic portion of RaceTrac’s proposal had little legal footing.

“It wasn’t until October 23, you created a definition of trucks and then it’s been trying to be applied to us,” Tranter said. “We are not a truck stop ‘primarily’ by any definition.”

Residents have cited noise, proximity to residential areas and truck traffic coupled with the Factory Road “superstreet” as reasons they oppose the project.

Others pointed out the site would be an oil and gas facility located close to Ankeny soccer complex and Beaver Creek.

“I think what we are at risk of doing here is creating opportunities in Beavercreek that are better for folks flowing through Beavercreek than for the residents of Beavercreek themselves,” said resident Maurice Azar.

Ten trucks are expected to pass through the facility at peak hours, compared with more than 200 cars, Tranter said.

“RaceTrac will argue, as they have tonight, that there’ll be more cars in the facility, so it’s not primarily a facility for trucks. The layout, as was already described, suggests otherwise,” said resident Paul Roderer. “And I would suspect that the profit margins with diesel fuel sales are projected to exceed that of gasoline sales.”

RaceTrac may — and probably will — take the matter to court, Adams said.

“We have no control over if they decide to do that, but I believe we did the right thing,” he said.

Gas station chains are expanding across the Miami Valley. RaceTrac, which operates more than 500 gas station locations in the country, had its first Ohio location approved for Delaware, Ohio last year.

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