BATAVIA — Developers of a proposed Quicklee’s convenience store and gas station have the city Planning & Development Committee’s approval to proceed, following approval of a site plan and special use permit.
Quicklee’s, which is based in Livingston County, wants to change the use of the 3,771-square-foot former Bob Evans restaurant, 204 Oak St.
The project involves construction of a four-pump, fuel station island with canopy and underground fuel storage tanks. The convenience store with retail fuel sales will use 2,771 square feet and the drive-thru restaurant will use the remaining 1,000 square feet of space. The committee approved the site plan and permit at its meeting Tuesday night.
Planning & Development Committee Chairman Duane Preston said Wednesday that the committee Tuesday received an updated traffic study that addressed its concerns about the line of vehicles at the drive-thru at the Tim Hortons proposed for the site. The state Department of Transportation recommended that there would be enough room to accommodate the anticipated lineup of vehicles at the drive-thru.
“The DOT did recommend that the traffic study looked complete. Our concern was the queuing (lineup of vehicles) of the Tim Horton’s drive thru and they did recommend it would be fine,” he said.
Preston said the committee was concerned in the past that traffic problems would occur when Dunkin’ and Tim Hortons were opened.
“At our last meeting, we wanted a traffic study that confirmed that there would be enough room for the queuing.
“The drive-thru queuing assessment during the AM peak hours showed that there is significant storage space to accommodate the traffic patronizing the proposed coffee shop,” Preston read from information provided by SRF Associates, who did the traffic study.
“This was updated as of June 2021. It was a brand new study,” Preston said. “It was based on the recommendations they did on the previous traffic study for the month before.”
Vehicles will be able to enter Quicklee’s off of Noonan Drive and exit back onto Noonan Drive,
The new traffic generated by the project is expected to be 79 vehicles entering and 71 leaving Quicklee’s during weekday morning peak hours, and 53 vehicles entering and 55 leaving during evening peak hours.
“You are going to see a little more traffic. You’re going to see 79 more cars than you would have before,” he said today. “It’s going to be a little busier ... compared to people sitting down in a sit-down restaurant (Bob Evans).
Preston said at this point, Quicklee’s is free to move ahead with the project.
“They said they’re still in negotiations with Tim Hortons on the building. They may have to come back to us for signage when they find out if they are using Tim Hortons,” he said. “At this point, they haven’t confirmed their relationship with Tim Hortons.”
The committee doesn’t want to see the former Bob Evans stay empty.
“It’s a beautiful location for Thruway traffic. It’s a nice project. We like to have people come off the Thruway and spend some money on gas and some coffee. It’s great for the additional tax revenue on the gasoline.”
The committee didn’t take any action on a preliminary site plan review for the YNCA/UMMC Healthy Living Campus. The plan would result in removal of three buildings. The proposed, new facility will include the construction of a two-story, 69,420-square-foot building which will house a YMCA, medical offices, off-street parking, a new access point from Summit Street, and numerous site work/landscaping updates throughout the complex.
“That came in front of us as a proposed site plan review. They want to move right on to SEQR (State Environmental Quality Review), but we did have a couple of other issues that we wanted to see smoothed out along the process. We wanted to soften the look on Main St. between GO ART! and the new Y,” Preston said. “The old plan provided additional parking in that area. We would like to see it softened up with more green space ... a little park-like setting. They’re going back to see if by eliminating a handful of parking spaces, whether that’s going to significantly hamper the parking situation. It shouldn’t, but they have to have a certain number of parking spaces. They’re going to have to see what they can take away to be within code.”
Preston said the committee will have to have a public hearing on the proposed Summit Street entrance. The hearing is scheduled for the next meeting, 6 p.m. Aug. 17 in the City Council Chambers.
“A lot of hinges on the Summit Street entrance and the green space,” he said.