I am deeply concerned about the proposed gas station complex inside the town limits of St. Michaels on Talbot Street.
Last fall, the St. Michaels Board of Zoning Appeals granted exceptions for a gas station, convenience store, café and free-standing car wash to be built on the property across the street from the schools and pool on Talbot Street. There will be plenty of room for the new owner to install 14 pumps and put up the buildings after the tall pine trees are cut down.
This proposal involves more than stormwater runoff rules, sidewalks and traffic patterns. This property is in the Gateway Zone of St. Michaels. Once the bright lighting,14 garishly-colored pumps, price signs and café fried chicken specials are put in place, our gateway will offer a unique welcome to visitors, residents and officials to our beloved and quaint St. Michaels.
Who is looking at the possible economic implications and impact of a third gas station within walking distance? Will the area support it?
Who is looking at the possible implications of a gas station complex that goes out of business or is sold to a large entity… like WAWA?
The applicant has changed the size of building structures that exceeded the original exemptions without notifications, though recently they were reduced when it was pointed out. However an additional use has been recently added that was not in the original exception: a drug store.
There are many variables and considerations that the board and the planning commission have not carefully considered. They will decide this matter because it is not slated to go in front of the elected town commissioners for consideration.
So, it’s time for the people of St. Michaels and the Bay Hundred to speak out. (YES, the town government has invited people who are not St. Michaels residents to state their opinions.)
This application is not about what is allowed. It’s about what we want for our area.
On Tuesday, October 9, the Board of Zoning Appeals can rectify the mistake it made in granting the exception last year and to hear the opinions of residents of St. Michaels and the Bay Hundred.
The meeting is open to all: People need to hear the discussion on Tuesday October 9 at 5:30 at the St. Michaels Town Office.