A proposed Maverik convenience store in McCall that has been strongly opposed by both residents and Planning and Zoning Commissioners is back, with changes.
Salt Lake City, UT-based Maverik hopes to build a new location at 400 N. Third St. The company needs a conditional use permit, design review, and scenic route review to move forward in the application process.
During the December 1 meeting, P&Z commissioners questioned if the project met a requirement around design, appearance and cohesion with the surrounding area. Since then, Maverik representative Erik Anderson has made changes to accommodate these requests and presented them at Tuesday’s meeting.
People commented and called in to talk about how large the gas station would be. However, Maverik reduced the number of fuel pump stations from ten to six since the last meeting.
“I can’t emphasize enough, this is not going to draw 18 wheelers into the city because this does not have any high-volume pumps in it that would work for an 18 wheeler,” Maverik representative Hethe Clark said. “This is for passenger vehicles only, it is only six pumps, so we’re not going to be bringing 18 wheelers into the city with this. Again, this is the smallest type of convenience store that Maverik builds.”
Clark added that reducing the pump number improves the area and the landscape.
“It also allows for significantly expanded landscaping, an additional 10 feet against Highway 55 and it gets 20 feet total allowing for additional buffering against our neighbors to the west,” Clark said”… the design fully accommodates snow storage, and we’re working with the city engineer to ensure that there’s a 10-foot sidewalk snow storage easement for the city’s use.”
Design changes and feedback
P&Z members did not grill Maverik representatives over design plans to the same extent as they did during Maverik’s first proposal, but Anderson submitted an updated design plan before the meeting. Updates include window canopies with new color and design and wood columns with a now darker color palette.
“We’ve all looked at the original design and decided it wasn’t good enough,” Clark said. “We’ve taken that to heart, and we worked very hard to come up with a design that’s not just unique to McCall in this site, but it’s also unique to the Maverik organization.”
During this last meeting, the commission was concerned that the original design would not fit the “McCall classic” aesthetic. And some commissioners say they still believe this. Commissioner Scott Broyles was ready to move on from the design discussion.
“I don’t believe the planning commission is the aesthetic police,” he said.
Still no community support
A few people called in to make public comments. Not a single caller was supportive of the Maverik.
“Our town has been growing rapidly and we don’t want to see the land get overrun by gas stations,” McCall resident Matt Hurlbutt said. “Gas stations this size we feel like should be outside of town, and more of an industrial setting. By comparison to other resort towns like Jackson Hole, there Maveriks’ located two miles from the downtown core, Park Citys’ is located 1.2 miles from the downtown corridor. Why should we be treated any differently? The current location that was being proposed will only bring more people through our city that may otherwise take the bypass causing further unnecessary traffic.”
P&Z read through the CUP requirements, making notes on what needs to change. A decent amount of the feedback was about the gas station meeting these requirements, including an agreement that the Maverik would improve the street.
“I tried one winter carnival to walk on that side of the street from downtown out to Growlers. You can’t do it without being out in the street,” Commissioner Broyles said. “The improvements they’re making, including some that belong the state of Idaho, they stepped way up. And the other thing is, they’re going to fix that runoff green water problem for several 100 acres. That’s a win for us.”
After deliberating for a couple of hours, P&Z voted to send the CUP, Design Review and Scenic Route Review application back to the staff to prepare findings of facts and consider discussion from the meeting. P&Z will vote on the Maverik on May 4.
Maverik currently operates a smaller store up the street. In the 1990s, it moved from another location at 3rd St. and Park St.