At the Marietta City Council’s work session Monday night, the Director of Development Services Brian Binzer presented the company’s application for 10 variances from the city’s development code.
The item will be up for a discussion and vote during Wednesday’s 7 p.m. regular meeting at City Hall, 205 Lawrence St.
The proposed gas station and 5,720-square-foot convenience store at the corner of Burnt Hickory Road currently contains a Caldwell Banker office, vacant since 2006, on property owned by LED Hickory Investors LLC of Rome.
Seven QT gas stations already have Marietta addresses, as does the company’s Atlanta division office.
Binzer said “two big issues” are at stake — the distance from the store to Whitlock Avenue, and the distance to its neighbors, which are shopping center tenants like Workout Anytime.
“You’ve got the fact that the property is in the commercial corridor district and there’s a setback standard for that,” he said about a 75-foot requirement. “There are issues with the rear setback, which is the second variance. Basically, the building would be pushed up to the property line.”
The third variance has to do with the impervious surface, currently limited to 80 percent.
“It would go up to 85 percent,” Binzer said about hard surfaces which do not permit storm water to soak into the ground.
The fourth and fifth variances have to do with two signs, which would exceed city standards by 16 to 21 inches.
“They have a certain sign prototype that they use,” Binzer said.
Variances 6 and 7 concern the location of Dumpsters and their screening from the public.
Variance 8 and 9 would reduce the number of required street trees due to a difference in elevations, which also requires the construction of a retaining wall.
“There is an issue about putting trees on top of the retaining wall because the roots could encroach on the wall. If you put them at the bottom it gets close to the right of way,” Binzer said about land above a sewer line.
Variance 10 would cut the required setback in half from 20 feet to 10 feet for a fuel tank, which would be underground as is the one planned for the company’s eighth Marietta location at Chestnut Hill Road and Powder Springs Street, approved by the city council Aug. 8.
“It’s the identical signage as we proposed at Chestnut Hill,” QT Real Estate Project Manager Patrick Conner said. “All the variances here, as opposed to the other store, is the impervious, the tree setback and the Dumpster location. Other than that, they’re identical variances.”
City Manager Bill Bruton suggested the applicant check with a landscape architect on the possibility of street trees, with which Conner agreed.
City Councilman Andy Morris, in whose ward the site is proposed, said he had been contacted by concerned citizens regarding the tank location and sidewalks.
“One concern is needing more land for future plans,” he said. “It’s something we need to think about down the road.”
Neighborhood resident Joan Mayer said after the meeting she was “shocked” to learn of the proposal from the Journal’s Saturday edition.
“Along that road, traffic has gotten worse,” she said.
Her work at the Cobb Galleria Convention Center has demanding hours, but Mayer said there is one benefit.
“The best time to come home is midnight because otherwise it’s gridlocked,” she said. “We don’t need any more traffic.”
In addition, the neighborhood already has five locations in which to fuel up, Mayer said.
“We don’t need another gas station,” she said. “Enough already.”