Faced with a tie vote by the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors—a tie means no—ReStore’N Station decided to ask for a deferment of its request to reopen the Special Use Permit for water that allowed the gas station and convenience store to be built. Supervisors Ann Mallek, Rick Randolph and Liz Palmer had voted no. The vote will come up again at the board’s Oct. 12 meeting.
ReStore’N Station, on Rt. 250 near Interstate 64, had asked for the conditions on the permit to be removed to allow it to triple its building space, add diesel pumps, allow vehicles to be parked there overnight, and to be open longer hours. Its zoning is Rural Area.
Jo Higgins, representing ReStore’N Station, said that the station’s record of water use showed that it stays below its limit of 1,625 gallons a day and the untapped remaining volume of water allows more uses on the property. The wellhead has a control valve on it that does not allow more than the limit to be drawn from the well.
Besides changing the limits on the convenience store, owner Jeff Sprouse has proposed new uses including a doughnut shop and a tire and auto repair shop and office space.
The station is next to Freetown, a community created by freed slaves after the Civil War, and Freetown residents opposed lifting the conditions, citing Sprouse’s carelessness about observing them so far and pointing out that the station would become a truck stop if they were lifted.
“All the agreements they made they should have to stick with,” said Sandra Mears of Freetown. “Now they want to stick it to us again.” She said trucks are parked there overnight now and also asserted that because the station self-reports its water use the figures might be doctored.
Supervisor Norman Dill, who had voted yes, said he wanted to listen to the tape of the 2010 meeting in which the SUP was granted to see what promises had been made to Crozet and Freetown residents. “Crozet is a community where your word is your honor. If these commitments were made they should be honored.”
The deferment was made to allow a review the statement of conditions.
The Crozet Community Advisory Committee passed a resolution opposing the lifting the conditions and the Planning Commission voted 6-0 against it. County planning staff had recommended approval.