Letter to the Editor: St. Michaels Planned Gas Station a Radical Change of Our Landscape

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After passing Talbot County’s commercial gateway zone on Route 33, one has the enjoyable drive by cornfields bordered by woods and creeks with occasional glimpses of the water. Near St. Michaels, there is Marea’s buffer zone and the beginning of the Nature Trail.
The small gas station and property, seated in a grove of trees at the edge of town, was purchased recently by American Corners, LLC, which has proposed to enlarge the station to a size more suitably located on Rte. 50. In addition to 6 double-pumps for gas and one double-pump for diesel; there will be a convenience and drug store, café, free-standing car wash and large parking areas. A number of the pine trees will have to be removed to make space for the buildings, parking areas and storm-water management, giving a clear view of the new structures from the road and even from the Nature Trail. Is this the desired vision of the gateway to a lovely historic town renowned as a charming travel destination place?
Additional concerns include what will be the traffic and child safety issues (St. Michaels school complex, the community swimming pool and the new YMCA are directly across the street); has an environmental impact study been conducted, and is there enough sustainable business for four gas stations between St. Michaels and Easton?
After the application was approved by both the Planning and Zoning Commissions, a nearby resident brought legal action preventing further advancement of the project. Tuesday evening, 9 October at 5:30 at the Town Office, the Board of Zoning Appeals will revisit the application. Now is the time for residents of the entire area to attend this meeting to make their feelings known about this radical change to the landscape!
Marie Martin
Saint Michaels

Letters to Editor

  1. Hedley Batters says:

    Have read 2 letters opposing the gas station and I would like to make a couple of points in its favor. Firstly I believe St Michaels should be a great place to live primarily and the charming travel destination comes after. Many people who live in the town do not have cars believe it or not and have to walk or bike to Grauls for basic supplies etc. . If we are concerned about safety try doing this with no sidewalk in your senior years. Although a convenience store at the garage would not be a perfect solution it is certainly better than the status quo. Secondly, if we are concerned about the ‘charm’ I would suggest the owners of the gas station have done a great job ( at their expense) of clearing up the awful mess that was called ‘Dirty Dans’.They paid to clear out all the rusty cars etc. that filled the area——we owe them our thanks. Having bought a lot of gas there in the past year I have found them helpful , friendly and very competitive ( notice the prices at ny 2 gas stations tend to be the same ). In conclusion I don’t believe we should simply oppose this- I find many of the concerns raised to be groundless. Can we not discuss any concerns we have and find solutions to many without putting American corners through an administrative nightmare

  2. Alan Boisvert says:

    Typical conservative….resists any change and a desire to live in the past. What will you do when the existing gasoline storage tanks start leak into the bay?

  3. Walda DuPriest-Brandt says:

    I agree with Ms. Martin. This is inappropriate for the gateway into town. I also share concerns about the safety of our children from the schools, pool and then the Y. We do not need this. I would point out that a shuttle is run from the center of town to Grauls Market with regularity. I doubt that most people would consider buying their groceries from a “quick mart.” Supposedly, there was an ok on an environmental impact study. It is difficult to understand how this would be considered appropriate on the wetlands that surround it. This is not for St. Michaels.

    • Jane Barrett says:

      Couldn’t agree more… The environment Will be impacted on wetlands right behind the property… It is totally out of place and unnecessary and dangerous for an already congested area. What we have, is plenty. No-one wants for a gas pump. And, Yes, it is out of place for the small town og St. Michaels!

  4. David Lloyd says:

    Must admit the environmental issue is the key issue for me — and for others, I am sure, who have residence on the Miles River or coves. Given the (finally) appropriate attention being given to the impact of development on the fragile environment in our area, I think there should be a more comprehensive environmental study performed before this project is allowed to move forward.

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