By Seth Littrell
Register News Writer
Richmond’s Planning Commission approved plans Thursday for a convenience store at the former Jack’s BP location.
Mike Eaves, attorney for the developer, said Estepp’s C-Store was approved because he and City Attorney Garrett Fowles reached a compromise on an issue relating to existing entrances on the property.
At the commission’s Feb. 18 work session, Eaves sparred with Planning Director Jason Hart after he said the developer was entitled to a left-turn exit onto Barnes Mill Road from the property. Hart said left turns onto the busy four-lane road would be unsafe.
Other businesses in the area, including IHOP and Chick-fil-A, have constructed right-in/right-out only access points voluntarily to assist the flow of traffic, Hart said.
However, these access points make use of a concrete island in the middle of the lane, and Eaves said such an island would prevent a fuel truck from entering the station to resupply the pumps.
The solution Eaves and Fowles developed in a later meeting was to ask the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet to install delineators, or dividers, in the center of Barnes Mill, Eaves said. The delineators would run from the bridge over Interstate 75 to the first Richmond Centre entrance, blocking left turns along the entire strip of road. The dividers also allow entrances to the store to remain wide enough for a fuel truck to pass through.
If the state decides not to install the delineators, Eaves said he and Fowles agreed that would not affect the rest of the development.
“What we have agreed to is that if, for whatever reason, it doesn’t work or doesn’t fly, we’ll argue another day about the entrance,” Eaves said. “So, if the approval happens today, you (the commission) aren’t stuck with an entrance you didn’t approve, and we’re not stuck agreeing to the entrance you want us to agree to but we won’t approve.”
In addition, the developer has agreed that fuel trucks will come to resupply the station only after midnight, when traffic is reduced, Eaves said. The only way to get the truck out will likely be through the Richmond Centre, he added.
Planning and Zoning Inspector Kevin Causey, who was sitting in for Hart at Thursday’s business session, said he saw no problems with the changes. However, the plan hinges on the Transportation Cabinet approving the delineators. Fowles said he had not heard if the state had made a decision.
Eaves also told the board he was addressing issues with parking spaces brought up during the work session, and would report to them when the issue was resolved. The commission approved the development with two conditions: Eaves was to submit a new design plan which accurately represented the pending changes. He was also asked to submit a letter in writing acknowledging his agreement with Fowles regarding the entrances.
Seth Littrell can be reached at email@example.com or 624-6623.