By Jim Newell
The Speedway gas station on the southwest corner of Clarkston and Lapeer roads could be expanding after the Orion Township Board of Trustees approved the second reading of a rezoning request at its Oct. 16 meeting.
Speedway LLC wants to purchase 0.41 acres of property on the west and south sides of the current Speedway gas station in order to expand its gas station and convenience store, according to a Land Use and Zoning Analysis review from Carlisle Wortman Associates, Inc., the township’s planning firm.
The proposed project plans submitted by Speedway, LLC, would include building a new 4,600 square foot convenience store and a 9,200 square foot canopy with 10 double-sided gas pumps. The current Speedway facility, 1030 S. Lapeer Rd., will be torn down as part of the project.
The Road Commission of Oakland County currently owns the .41 acres at 1100 S. Clarkston Road that Speedway would purchase for its expansion. The RCOC uses the property for vehicle storage and staging.
The rezoning request was necessary because the Speedway property is zoned General Business (GB), a designation that allows for gas stations, while the RCOC property is currently zoned Office Professional (OP).
Rezoning the property is only the first step in the process, and Speedway must submit a site plan for review by the planning commission and approval by the township board before the company can begin any demolition and construction.
The township planning commission held a public hearing on the matter on Sept. 6 and unanimously passed a motion recommending the Board of Trustees approve the rezone request.
In its review, the planning commissioners noted that the request is consistent with the objectives of the adopted Master Plan; the request is consistent with the surrounding zoning and land uses; and the zoning classification will allow for the expansion of an existing facility and will be an improvement to the Lapeer Road corridor.
The long-term implications, however, of the rezoning of the RCOC property are that other businesses that fall into the General Business zoning classification can purchase and build in the rezoned area.
Those businesses permitted by right to build could include automobile dealerships and used car sales, automobile repair garage and service centers, bar/lounge, small-scale indoor recreation facilities, grocery stores, professional and medical offices or lumber yards.
Permitted under a special land use application would be gas stations, outdoor cafés, large-scale indoor recreation facilities, hotel/motel and emergency/extended hour medical facilities, according to Carlisle Wortman Associates.