Midway council has given the go ahead to The Spot gas station to purchase a 7.6 metre strip of village property between the northern edge of Palmerston between Florence and Chamblet about 7.6 x 91.4 metres (25 feet x 300 feet). The purchase of the property would allow the pump islands to be moved to the south to provide better access on the north side of the pumps.
The request to purchase the property was made last month by owners Merle and Peter Kappes. They appeared before council last Wednesday (June 4) evening along with Catherine Kappes to speak to the proposal.
Mayor Randy Kappes declared a conflict and stepped away from the room during all discussions.
Council had earlier visited the site and voted last month not to transfer any property but to instead refer the owners to the Board of Variance to seek relaxation of the setback requirements.
But at the June 2 meeting, council received a response from the Kappes’ asking for reconsideration, stating that purchase of the property would give them the most favourable opportunity for future development and improvement of the business.
They are planning to upgrade their pump island and underground fuel piping to modern standards and would like to move the gasoline pump island and the diesel pump farther away from the highway. The current small size of the lot and the setback requirements make this difficult for them.
According to Catherine Kappes, the proposal comes to council as The Spot has recently signed a contract with a new supplier. “We have decided that we want to use this opportunity to improve our fuelling equipment. We have contacted a few professional fuel equipment installation companies and are working to identify the best one for the job.”
She told council that new signage is included in the upgrade plans: new LED lighting and new signage at the front of the building and beside the highway. “It would also give us the option to look at putting up a canopy one day.”
The Spot has agreed to bear costs for surveying and development. Subdivision fees and charges will cover staff time. They forewarned council they would still need to go before the Board of Variance for relaxation of setback requirements.
Catherine said the alternative for the business if the approval was not given was to leave the pumps where they are. “Do the best we can with what we got. We would not ever be able to put in a canopy and the traffic flow around the pumps would continue to be a problem.”
They would like to get the process started as soon as possible and said the store would remain open during the installation of the new pump islands though no fuel would be available.
Village administrator Penny Feist listed the approvals that would be necessary. They include Board of Variance, Ministry of Highways (because both Florence and Hwy 3 are arterial roads), zoning bylaw amendments, public advertisement and meeting(s), and an approved subdivision plan.
Council voted to approve the sale subject to all approvals and agreement on a price.