Vote on Giant Gas Station Delayed Yet Again

Without enough members present for a quorum, the Annapolis Board of Appeals was forced to postpone a vote on the new gas station to May 18.

The wait continues.

After delays at both the and the , citizens opposed to a new gas station on Bay Ridge Road will have to wait yet another month to learn the fate of the proposal.

The gas station, which would be owned and operated by the Bay Ridge Giant, would sit adjacent to the Wachovia Bank in the Bay Forest Shopping Center. The gas station would offer rewards to customers who shop at Giant supermarkets.

Opponents of the gas station said the city hasn't seriously addressed traffic concerns, especially those they said would stem from a gas station that offers discounted prices. David Iams, president of the Board of Directors at Fairwinds Condominiums, said the traffic study conducted by the city doesn't adequately look at all of the underlying factors.

“Ian Bank's own traffic study admitted that there was no relevant current data about rewards-based gas stations in a community such as ours,” Iams wrote in a letter to Alderman Ian Pfeiffer (D-Ward 7). “The traffic study, performed by someone who is not an engineer, was merely speculation based on typical gas stations, not incentive-based stations or the dangerous conditions on Georgetown Road itself.”

To obtain a permit to build, Stop and Shop Supermarket Company LLC, parent company of Giant, applied for a special-exception permit. Critics of the gas station said the gas station doesn't meet the criteria specified for a special-exception permit.

In order to be granted a permit, an applicant must prove the project wouldn't “be detrimental to or endanger the public health, safety, morals, convenience or general welfare.”

But Iams said the gas station would be a direct affront to these criteria. Fairwinds Condominiums and the Mariner's Point community both oppose the project.

Opponents of the gas station hired a lawyer to counter Stop and Shop Supermarket Company LLC, which is being represented in the case by Alan Hyatt of Hyatt and Weber. During a on April 5, lawyers from both sides disagreed on everything, from the merits of the proposal to which city codes must be followed.

The meeting on April 5 dragged on for hours, leaving no time for deliberations or a vote.

While the Board of Appeals had planned on voting on the matter at their meeting on Wednesday, the group did not have enough members present for a quorum, so they were forced to delay the vote until May 18.

The board needed three of the five members, and only two were present at the meeting.

Residents aren't the only ones to oppose the station either.

At the meeting earlier this month, Bilal Iftikhar, owner of the Shell station two blocks away, testified that a gas station owned by a large corporation like Stop and Shop would put independently owned stations like his out of business.

“This is a three-mile radius and there are already six gas stations,” Iftikhar told Patch after the April 5 hearing. “One more gas station at the Giant will kill our business.”

Now, it seems as if Naushad Akhund, the owner of the Exxon station that sits across the street from the Shell station, may get involved, too.

Iams said Akhund, who acquired the station a few years ago, said he is willing to help with legal fees if the issue is taken to court.

Douglas Freeman April 22, 2011 at 01:55 PM
I live in Hillsmere Annapolis and shop at Giant. We do not need another gas station but I am all for an electric high speed charging station for electric cars and small trucks. The companies and people supporting hydrocarbon fuels are outdated in their thinking and allready behind the times. Doug Freeman
sylvia stone April 22, 2011 at 04:54 PM
We don't need another GAS station. I think Doug Freeman's idea is worth further thought. sylvia stone


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