Durham PZC Reviews Plans for Gas Station Reconstruction

Alliance Energy of Branford is seeking a permit to rebuild the Exxon gas station at 24 Main Street.


A Branford company is looking to build a new convenience store at 24 Main Street in Durham.

Alliance Energy Corporation, which owns the property, has requested a special permit from the town's Planning and Zoning Commission for the reconstruction of the existing business, a project that if approved will begin this fall.

"The proposal is to completely demolish everything on site and reconstruct with a brand new building and pump dispensers," said Russell Cyr of TO Design LLC.

Cyr presented the commission with specifics of the plan during a public hearing on July 18. The store would be reduced in size, from its current 3,447 square foot layout to 2,640 square feet, he said.

The new building would be set back "considerably" from the existing structure, according to Cyr, to allow for additional parking and easier access for deliveries.

Last winter,  after its previous owner failed to pay state sales taxes. The store .

During the hearing, commission members considered several elements of the proposal including whether after-hours delivery of fuel should be required as part of the permit to prevent possible traffic backup on Main Street.

Durham resident Maya Perry, who lives directly across from the business, told the commission that after-hour delivery could be disruptive to neighbors and requested the company be allowed to continue scheduling deliveries during regular business hours.

The company agreed to work with Perry to make sure an outdoor sound system wasn't too loud.

Commission member Frank DeFelice asked Cyr and Kevin Doyle, a representative from Alliance Energy, to provide the commission with more specific information about the lighting proposed for the site.

Cyr said the new store will be built entirely behind the existing structure, requiring a large amount of backfill at the property. The proposal also calls for extending the north-side of the property onto part of Swamp Lane, a long since abandoned town road that has been deeded to nearby property owners.

The company was asked to consider installing a back-up generator to ensure the business remained open during lengthy power outages by commission member Joseph Pasquale.

Initially, Pasquale questioned whether the public hearing should even take place because of concern that the hearing hadn't been properly posted. A sign required to be installed for seven days had only been posted for a few days before it disappeared, he said.

The commission eventually voted to extend the public hearing on August 1 in order to give the town engineer more time to review the site plan. 

Cyr also agreed to install a sign to notify the public of the hearing which will begin at 8 p.m. at the Durham Public Library.

Michael Hayes July 22, 2012 at 06:49 PM
During the hearing It sounded as if the property would be graded over about half of the road, or 16.5 feet. Maybe abandoned was the wrong choice of word, but Swamp Lane hasn't been a town maintained road for over 100 years.
Guest July 23, 2012 at 12:19 AM
Hopefully the rumors of having fast food joint installed, like a taco bell is not true, that is the last thing needed in any town . . . disgusting, addictive, processed junk food!
Michael Hayes July 23, 2012 at 01:17 AM
Guest Unless you're privy to information that the public isn't, there's never been any mention of installing a fast food establishment. I think the decrease in square footage alone would be proof.
Dan July 23, 2012 at 03:05 AM
that was the word from the previous owner.
Karin Thody July 24, 2012 at 12:37 AM
Swamp Lane is an entrance and exit route for the fair, both during the fair and nonfairtime for construction vehicles, etc. If you will remember, last year Swamp Lane was used as an exit during an extreme medical emergency. It is also a fire lane. That roadway cannot be blocked!


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