New Development on Bay Ridge Road
Patch answers a reader's question about a development rumor.
Greater Annapolis Patch reader Laurie Wick sent an e-mail, "I heard a rumor that a Shell gas station is going in the Giant Food parking lot next to the Wachovia Bank on Bay Ridge Road."
While the iconic Shell symbol won't be showing up in the Bay Forest Shopping Center, developers do have plans to bring a gas station into the retail area anchored by the Giant Food supermarket.
Giant, already the flagship tenant of the retail property, is looking to expand its reach by opening a Stop and Shop gas station in the parking lot, according to Phil McGowan, public information officer for the city of Annapolis. The gas station would be owned and operated by Giant.
"The developer has formally sought a special exception to build the gas station," said McGowan in an e-mail. "It is currently being reviewed by the City's Planning Commission, which serves in an advisory capacity, then it must be considered by the Board of Appeals, whose decision is binding."
While the project is still in its infancy, opposition is already mounting from community members. According to McGowan, Mariner's Point Community has already disclosed its opposition to the project.
"The Planning Commission held the first meeting on the special exception on Nov. 4, and the issue has been tabled to allow the developer to address concerns of nearby communities," said McGowan
One community the developer plans to meet with is Fairwinds Condominiums, which sit a block away from the shopping center.
The proposal calls for building four "fueling islands," which would accommodate eight cars. The plans do not ask for permitting to build a convenience store, however, the developer has asked that a portion of the area is set aside for vending machines, according to McGowan.
While the gas station would certainly increase traffic flow into the shopping center, there are no plans to build additional access points from Bay Ridge Road.
"Under the current proposal, access to the gas station would be gained from within the shopping center or the existing points at Edgewood and Georgetown roads," said McGowan. "The plans do not call for additional access from Bay Ridge Road."
Even though the Board of Appeals has final say on the project, the Department of Planning and Zoning has already recommended approval of the project, as long as several issues are resolved.
"Planning and Zoning sees an opportunity for a rain garden to absorb run-off as well as providing bike racks at the shopping center," said McGowan.
The Planning Commission is expected to meet next month to discuss the issue, but that meeting hinges on whether the developer has held a community meeting with residents of the the Fairwinds Condominiums.