P&Z Approves New Gas Station

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Payson's newest convenience store will be so convenient, you can not only gas up but also get new brakes.

The Payson Planning and Zoning Commission granted a conditional use permit for a 4,780-square-foot Brake Masters facility to be located behind a new 3,000-square-foot convenience store and a 4,000-square-foot gas station canopy on the northwest corner of Highway 87 and Airport Road across from the Elks Lodge. The convenience store and service station are allowed under current zoning codes.

The facilities will be constructed on 1.16 acres of the 1.66-acre site.

In his recommendation to the commission, Zoning Administrator Rudy Frost said the project is compatible with surrounding land uses and therefore should be approved, subject to several conditions. One of those conditions is the construction of an 8-foot masonry wall along the north side of the property.

Complaints raised by several residents at the meeting focused on noise levels, hours of operation and increased traffic. Public Works Engineer LaRon Garrett admitted traffic will be an issue.

"It is already a busy intersection, and this will increase the traffic," he said.

Garrett said the owner will be required to construct a right turn-only exit on Highway 87 identical to the one at the Wal-Mart Supercenter to reduce the problem.

Patrick Davis, a partner in the project, said a 20-foot wall and a vacant parcel on the west side should help mitigate the noise issue. Davis also explained that brake fluid and other contaminants will be stored in above-ground containers and taken off-site by truck for recycling and approved disposal.

Goin' to the dogs

In other action Monday, the commission unanimously granted a conditional use permit to allow an animal clinic on Main Street. The clinic will be built at 401 W. Main Street by Dr. Patti Blackmore.

In recommending approval, Zoning Administrator Ray LaHaye said, "This is the first new structure going in on Main Street."

The 3,174-square-foot facility, which will include 786 square feet of retail space for lease in the front, will be similar architecturally to Stockmen's Bank.

Blackmore said examinations, small animal surgeries, and occasional overnight hospitalization will occur at the clinic. While no outside dog runs or kenneling facilities are proposed, there will be a small secured walk area.

New commissioners

The Planning and Zoning Commission has four new members this year. George Barriger, Hoyt Kenmore, James Scheidt and Ted Scholz join current members Robert Flibotte, Don Harmon and Donald Wolfe.

Flibotte was elected chairperson and Harmon vice chairperson. Ruth Craig and Flibotte held those positions respectively last year. "Ruth had completed her second three-year term," Flibotte said. "That's all she can serve."

Flibotte, who served on the commission from 1979-1985, returned two years ago to fill an unexpired term. He was then appointed to a three-year term that expires at the end of this year.

Planning and zoning is also involved in rewriting the town general plan along with an advisory committee made up of citizens.

At a meeting earlier this week, a preliminary draft was presented for consideration. Input from that meeting will be incorporated into another preliminary draft that will be considered at the next meeting Feb. 5.

"We will make a recommendation to the town council," Flibotte said. "They will hold hearings, make a decision, and then the plan goes to the public for a vote."

Arizona revised statutes require that each town adopt a comprehensive, long-range general plan that expresses the community's vision, identifies goals and development priorities, and serves as a policy guide.

To oversee the process, the town has hired Partners for Strategic Action, an award-winning consulting firm based in Fountain Hills.

The state deadline for having a general plan in place is the end of 2002.

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