QuikTrip eyes 9th Marietta location
by Noreen Cochran
December 11, 2012 12:54 AM | 4537 views | 21 21 comments | 24 24 recommendations | email to a friend | print
MARIETTA — Tulsa, Okla.-based QuikTrip Corp. is seeking to add its ninth Marietta location on a 1.2-acre lot at 900 Whitlock Ave. in the Burnt Hickory Village shopping center.

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.”
Comments
(21)
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Jim Warren
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December 13, 2012
Perhaps it is noted elsewhere in todays MDJ, but Council voted 6-0 AGAINST granting the variances for QT...only Philip Goldstein abstained.
mk-good job mayretta
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December 14, 2012
This is exactly the opposite of the Smyrna council

vote that has forever set the low bar along Spring Road in Smyrna.

...but who needs a Whole Foods??

The Smyrna council woman (Pritchett), said the Race Trac will have fresh fruits & veggies!

Smyrna,.where Pop Eyes is a 'trendy farm to table' resturant!
Space Management
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December 12, 2012
i agree with many others that have commented on the new QT..Although i am a fan of QT, i would much rather drive a couple miles up the street on Powder Springs and go to QT if i need to. Also , yes why not turn the old shell station into a QT Mini Mart. It's called space management, using what you have to get what you want. Do all of Whitlock Residence a favor and ponder on using the eyesore space.
mk- demand quality
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December 12, 2012
Look at Buckhead- you don't see gas stations on every corner!

Brookhaven's Dresden Drive has been turned into a fabulous walkable neighborhood street, w/ shops, mixed use & resturants. Also, good planning in Chamblee along Johnson Ferry- building new mixed use! A mega station would DESTROY home value for these areas!

These mega stations are bullying their way into anywhere that doesn't have a good zoning plan for the future!

They should only be allowed to go into an already zoned station that has closed.

Just look at Spring Road in Smyrna! The main road into Smyrna, from the Galleria area is now mega gas stations, fast food & car washes. What it invites is 'we buy gold' shops , smoke shops & transient apartments.

Does Marietta really want to look like Smyrna has become??

Probably not!
Smyrna Guy
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December 12, 2012
MK - Please move to your beloved Brookhaven or Decatur and leave us alone.
mk@ hardigan
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December 11, 2012
I realize you are just another alias of my stalker/cyber bully.

Sad, Sean , really.
Really??
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December 11, 2012
Really? What would be wrong with a brand new convenience store at that location? Much better than the aging gas stations that are in the area now and the real estate office that's been vacant for who knows how many years. When's the last time anybody built anything new on that stretch of the road? It might even spark some further redevelopment.
Jim Warren
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December 13, 2012
Really?, if you will read the comments posted here (as well as the article itself), you will see what the concerns and site variances are present. There is no need to "re-list" them.
tk runner
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December 11, 2012
NO, No, NO - why doesn't QT buy the "Auction" gas station across the street and fix it up. DO NOT allow a gas station to be built on a much too small lot with too much congestion.

I am so tired of our city council approving "junk" being built in our lovely city. Can you please tear down the vacant buildings and why not try to provide incentives for high end businesses (Fresh Market, Trader Joe's, etc) on Whitlock. Not another gas station! Come on, it's disappointing to see the lack of quality businesses coming to our area!
anonymous
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December 11, 2012
Please don't build another gas station in an area that does not need it or want it. Worst case is have them look at the closed station across the street. We do not need another eyesore on Whitlock. Please, Grif. I as your constituent will be watching your vote.
RT Shepherd
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December 12, 2012
What's not to like about the new Quick Trips? They're always clean and well maintained. The entire area is already zoned commerciall. What difference does it make if the contractors need a break here and there from the regulations, so they can build something nice and new out here for a change?
Jim Warren
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December 11, 2012
As a near neighbor is Whitlock Heights, I do NOT support the construction of this QT, mostly for many of the reasons others have stated. If there are as many variances as noted in the article, then common sense would dictate that the location is ill-suited. That is why there is a code in the first place! Within one half mile in either direction from this proposed site, you can secure gas at THREE locations. The Shell station closed directly across from this proposed site as well. This is a bad idea all the way around.
Details, details
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December 12, 2012
There are probably very few existing business structures that would comply with the overlay zoning regulations that are in place today. Does that mean they are also Ill suited for their present locations and shouldn't be allowed?

No, but what it does mean is that these older structures will continue to occupy the area because it is more economical to leave them as is, than to tear them down, lose their grandfather protection and have to rebuild to the new standards.

Revitalization isn't going to occur with the same old structures left in place.

Retiree1
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December 11, 2012
That parcel is MUCH too small for a gas station--especially such a big one as QT likes to build. PLEASE turn this down, Marietta!!
mk-bad planning
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December 11, 2012
Don't allow Marietta to become like vacant Smyrna.

Smyrna holds no future. Even w/ Smyrna's location,... corruption & very poor judgement w/ zoning.

Smyrna is mega gas stations, mega Krogers, & mega elementary schools. Attracting only low income developments.

Now, the only new contruction in Smyrna is homes in the low 200's & apartments.

Check out Brookhaven. True value in your biggest investmet,.. your home. And now, just by close proximity, Chamblee is building valuable, , livable neighborhoods & communities!!

Anyone been to Woodstock lately?

Even way up there,...they are building a smart, beautiful community w/ VALUE!

..so is Dunwoody(connecting trails, parks & neighborhoods).

Decatur is a true, livable, walkable community.

Why does Cobb continue do it so backwards?
Amy Hardigan
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December 11, 2012
Smyrna, Smyrna, Smyrna. Marietta is MY city. This is proposed to be in MY neighborhood. I will thank you so stay out of OUR business and let us fight our own fights. This is a very bad idea for many reasons but none have to do with you and your whining sad little life that you lead in your piece of heaven on earth. Not sure what's worse - another QT or your petulant complaining. GO AWAY!!!!
anonymous
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December 11, 2012
I agree with Amy. All MK does is whine and complain. If MK devoted as much time to charity work and helping others as MK does to whining and complaining, the world would be a better place. To MK, the grass is always greener in.....
mk- f@ amy-
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December 11, 2012
I'm sorry, are these comments for specific areas only? I wasn't aware.

Go ahead, fight your fight,.. good luck to you guys. Already by the looks of the comments, you will have a vocal, organized group against this poor zoning.Something Smyrna doesn't have,.. smart, organized groups looking out for the good of the community.

FYI,... the 'anonymous' that piled on,.. is a mouthpiece for Smyrna mayor & was also very outspoken in his support for the unnecessary mega QT that was built as Smyrnas ONLY new 'gateway'. He can't think for himself, the mayor can't speak for himself,.. so they're kinda like siamese twins.
anonymous
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December 12, 2012
MK - You live in a fantasy world all your own. Anonymous is me and I am not a man and I don't know Max Bacon.
Terrible idea
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December 11, 2012
I live in the neighborhood and I can say without reservations, that it is a terrible idea for all of the reasons given above. Decisions like this will hurt the businesses in the shopping center and we should do all we can to encourage them if we don't want another derelict, run down area. This is going to make the traffic more nightmarish than it already is. Am sick of us, the taxpaying public, being given no consideration where it comes to what happens in our parts of town. This can do nothing to help our property values. Oh, and heard, (hope it is not true) that we are to get a dollar store across the street. So the news is not getting better.
Lynn Rechsteiner
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December 12, 2012
The proposed Q.T. is a very poor idea. On the variance application many important facts were left out, most important hard facts about the number of cars that a Q.T. generates. Q.T. dominates the Atlanta market. The proposed station will make the corner of Whitlock and Burnt Hickory more dangerous by adding as many as 600 trips (customers) in the morning hours and 475 trips (customers) in the peak hours. The peak hours are when our children are leaving school. Many students are within a mile at MHS. Traffic in this area has always been an issue. The opposite corner has a huge, unsightly storm drain opening that has never been addressed. Lastly, this would not be good for our community. Certainly the corner has been vacate for so long is because of it's accessibility ---very bad corner and not suited for a gas station!
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