ZBA approves variance for new gas station


The newspaper added the surrounding properties to the artist’s rendering of the west view of the proposed new Shell gas station at 520 Middlebury Road to give an idea of how it will appear. The original shows only trees and grass surrounding the gas station. (Terrence McAuliffe image)


The Middlebury Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) at its Oct. 1 meeting unanimously voted to approve a setback variance for a new gas station on Middlebury Road.

An artis's rendering of the view from the east side of the proposed new gas station on Middlebury Road. (Submitted rendering)

An artist’s rendering of the view from the east side of the proposed new gas station on Middlebury Road. (Submitted rendering)

The larger building set farther back from the road will have five pumps and 10 gas dispensers. It will replace the Shell station at 520 Middlebury Road and extend across the vacant area formerly occupied by Vinnie’s Pizza and Johnny’s Dairy Bar, according to attorney Michael McVerry. McVerry represents Wesson Energy, owner of all the properties.

McVerry said a land swap with St. John of the Cross church in August 2012 gave more room in the back for the building site, but the owner still needed a variance for the front where regulations require a 75-foot minimum setback from the street. He told commissioners the hardship is the depth of property coupled with an additional buffer requirement from adjacent residential property to the north. He said the 75-foot setback requirement for Routes 63 and 64 is larger than that for other CA-40 properties and asked for a 42-foot setback to match other businesses in the area. This would make the new canopy less non-conforming than the current one.

In approving the variance, Commissioner Ken Long pointed out the new layout of the building was doing exactly what the draft Plan of Conservation and Development is recommending for Middlebury Center. The other commissioners agreed the project would be good for the town and an improvement.

The next ZBA meeting will be Wednesday, Nov. 5, at 7:30 p.m. at Shepardson Community Center.


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