The Shell Station on Purcellville’s Main Street could see a major renovation in the coming years.
The Holtzman Oil Corp. is looking to redevelop the 1.25-acre Walsh property, which is home to a Shell Station that has been around for at least five decades. The town’s Planning Commission and Board of Architectural Review held a joint meeting Thursday to hear more about Holtzman’s proposal, which includes plans to build a gas station with 12 pumps, a 4,200-square-foot convenience store and a restaurant with an outdoor seating area. Holtzman also wants to add 35 public parking spaces and a Nursery Avenue entrance to the property.
President Bill Holtzman said that the property purchase is dependent on talks with the town. “I’m hopeful that we can put something together that works really well for the town and really good for us,” he said.
According to a staff report, the plan “is a unique opportunity to design and utilize an appropriate use of this site, which is a significant piece to [Purcellville’s] downtown.”
Planning Commission Chairman Tip Stinnette said Holtzman’s current plans pose a few issues related to the zoning ordinance and traffic flow.
The main concern is that the property sits within the Central Commercial zoning district, which prohibits gas stations. The existing Shell Station is allowed because it was built prior to the adoption of the ordinance and was grandfathered. The ordinance does, however, allow for the construction of a convenience store and restaurant of less than 6,000-square-feet.
To allow for a new gas station to be built there, Holtzman will have to apply for a text amendment to the zoning ordinance, which the Planning Commission and the Town Council would review through a public hearing process.
That district also requires a maximum front yard of 15 feet along Main Street, meaning Holtzman would have to put the fuel pumps behind the convenience store and restaurant. Holtzman would also need to construct a wall to separate the property from the residential district next door if more public parking is added.
Because town staff feels that the secondary entrance along Nursery Avenue might pose line-of-sight concerns, it will use VDOT standards as sight distance guidelines.
Stinnette said that if the property sale and redevelopment eventually does go through, and that if Holtzman decides to competitively price fuel at the location, the station could draw more traffic from Round Hill and cause traffic flow problems.
Holtzman said that while gas prices would be competitive with surrounding stations, he doesn’t feel that it would increase traffic. He said the redevelopment would serve those who already visit the existing station and that anyone stopping off of Rt. 7 would most likely visit his company’s 5,400-square-foot Shell Station at Catoctin Corner, which is scheduled to open by the end of this year.
“I just don’t see us pulling people from Round Hill to this location,” Holtzman said. “I think that’s a fear that’s not going to materialize.”
The company is modifying its concept plan with three different designs to present the Planning Commission in the coming months.