WOODBURY – The Historic District Commission has denied CPD Energy Corp.’s plan to turn the vacant gas station at 83 Main St. South into a gas station and convenience store.
According to the minutes of the July 10 Historic District Commission meeting, the commission voted unanimously to not issue a certificate of appropriateness to CPD Energy Corp.
CPD Energy Corp.’s plans called for a new septic system, exterior building renovations, canopy, new pavement, parking, landscaping, lighting, signage and gas pumps. The existing wood stockade fence will be replaced with a new wood stockade fence.
However, neighbors and members of the Historic District Commission said they are concerned about the plans CPD Energy Corp. had for the lighting, signage, and, mostly, the size of the canopy.
Historic District Commission Chairman Susan Cheatham felt with the proposed changes this building with its character will become like any other gas station, the character will be taken away.
Cheatham said the commission is not against a gas station but would like to see the applicant work with residents and the commission to conform with the Historic District.
Commissioner Maureen Donnarumrna added that the building has charm which would be obliterated with the changes to the structure and the windows.
Canopy in Question
Due to zoning regulations, CPD Energy Corp. proposed a canopy that would be attached to the building. Commission members wanted to know why the 26-foot by 37-foot canopy could not be smaller and not attached to the building.
But Attorney Gail McTaggart, who represents CPD Energy Corp., noted that a free-standing canopy would be considered a structure by the Zoning Commission. That would create issues with set-back, she said.
During the Historic District Commission meeting, Woodbury resident Richard Snider expressed concern that the building will remain an empty eyesore.
“What then happens to this building?” Snider asked. “In order to move forward, it’s necessary to decide what will work there. This building will end up like the telephone company buildings.”
Snider suggested that the commission make some concessions and keep what you can.
“What you will allow may not be historically correct but the tide is changing,” Snider said. “This has been a difficult decision.”
Commissioner Robert Kolesnik told Snider that the building can maintain it’s current look while operating as something other than a gas station.
“Other businesses are viable at that location, like a classic car shop or a gallery,” Kolesnik said. “We were not denying this application because of use.”
McTaggart indicated that her client would go back to the drawing board and re-submit its application.
In addition to gas, CPD Energy Corp. says the building will house a deli and food mart, with some food preparation being done on the premises. An apartment above the station will also be renovated, and will have a separate entrance. However, at the July 12 meeting, CPD Energy Corp. noted that the apartment is not up to code.
There are currently four gas stations in Woodbury: Mobil at 718 Main St. South, Robert Motorcars at 592 Main St. South, Woodbury Shell Food Mart at 24 Main St. North and Gulf at 1633 Main St. North.