New Columbia gas station approved


The Planning Board yesterday approved a new gasoline station in Columbia, but split on recommending a variance needed to convert a Savage service station to a convenience store.

The board voted 3-0 to approve the use of a 1 1/2 -acre site at Minstrel Way and Snowden River Parkway in Owen Brown village for a gasoline station.

The Owen Brown village board members opposed the change.

The village board cited traffic problems and what they considered a conflict with Columbia's plans.

As a result, planning board members decided at a July hearing to delay their decision on the Rouse Company's proposed sketch plan.

Yesterday the planning board heard county traffic engineers confirmed that the Rouse Company's traffic information is accurate, and that planned synchronization of traffic lights would ease local congestion.

Later, in a variance request, the trend of replacing service bays with convenience stores ran afoul of the Savage Community Association.

The board was split 2-2 on recommending that the county Board of Appeals approve Exxon Corporation's request for a series of variances for a half-acre property at the corner of U.S. 1 and Howard Street.

A service station has been on the site for 20 years, but Exxon wants to rebuild the station with four pumps under a canopy, instead of the current six pumps.

The Savage association President Bill Waff said that was fine, but eliminating the service bays and building a convenience store would put mechanics out of work and draw business away from the Wawa store in downtown Savage.

In another decision, the board voted unanimously to approve a site development plan for 80 detached homes on 50 acres between Old Columbia Pike, New Cut Road, and the subdivisions of Autumn Manor and Timberland in Ellicott City.

The approval will allow the developer, Pulte Home Corp., to obtain building permits for homes ranging in price from $185,000 to $205,000.

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