CAPE CARTERET — A new gas station is coming to town, thanks to the action of the Cape Carteret Board of Commissioners Monday night.
At its monthly session, at City Hall and on GoToMeeting, the council approved the commercial site plan for a Lowes Foods gas station and food kiosk at the intersection of Highway 24 and Enterprise Avenue, which leads south into the Carteret Crossing Mall and the Lowes Foods Grocery Anchor.
The vote was 4 to 1, with Commissioner Steve Martin being the sole opposition. He said it was one of the best business plans he’s seen in terms of detail and compliance with city ordinances, but he didn’t like the location.
“I just think it needs to be pushed back into the mall,” Mr Martin said. “That’s just my opinion.”
The commissioner said he believes a gas station right at the busy intersection — Anita Forte Drive is across the freeway — could cause vehicles to pile up on Highway 24, blocking potentially traffic.
Mr. Martin said he would rather see traffic slow inside the mall than on the freeway at the traffic light.
The planning council recommended approval of the site plan earlier this month, although a few members questioned the potential for stormwater runoff.
Commissioner Mike King said Monday he doesn’t think it will have a significant impact since stormwater is already flowing under the freeway from the Marine Federal Credit Union parking lot into the man-made wetlands created by the NC Coastal. Federation in front of the Cape Carter Baptist and Presbyterian churches on the south side of the highway.
The site of the new service station is already fully paved.
The federation’s runoff system has been in disrepair since Hurricane Florence submerged it in 2018, but the North Carolina Department of Transportation is expected to accept bids for a repair project soon.
Mr King, who voted to approve the site plan on Monday, said he wished ‘something else could go’ but noted the use was permitted under the district’s existing classification zoning B-20 (shopping center) and that the city had no choice but to approve it since it met the requirements.
The site is that of the former Marine Federal Credit Union building, which will be razed.
“It’s really no different from Starbucks, which we just OK,” Mr. King said.
Starbucks will replace the neighboring former PNC Bank building, which has already been razed and is on the same side of the freeway as the planned gas station.
The plan for the Lowes Foods gas station was submitted by The Isaacs Group, a Charlotte-based civil engineering firm, and shows three parking spaces, including an accessible space. City Manager Zach Steffey told the meeting it was one more parking space than is required, in total, under the ordinance.
The board meeting held a public comment period on the plan, but no one spoke.
Contact Brad Rich at 252-864-1532; email [email protected]; or follow on Twitter @brichccnt.