Burlington’s city council evaded another potentially fractious decision on Tuesday night when a local attorney agreed to withdraw a rezoning request that would’ve enabled a Shell gas station to set up shop at the juncture of Bonnar Bridge Parkway and Danbrook Road.
Despite the relatively smooth reception that this request received before the city’s planning commission, it encountered some significant roadblocks when it reached the council that evening after word of the project had circulated among residents of Mackintosh on the Lake.
The council heard several complaints from this subdivision’s residents, who rely on Bonnar Bridge Parkway as the primary entrance to their sprawling community. Some of these homeowners protested that they had been caught unawares by the rezoning request – notwithstanding the prominent signs that the planning department had planted and the notices it sent out well beyond the state’s minimum requirement. Others were also concerned about the traffic that they assumed the new service station would bring to this well-traveled crossroads.
The council, for its part, recalled that the subdivision’s residents had previously raised concerns about traffic during hearings about Buckhill Village and other residential developments in the same general area.
Burlington’s mayor Jim Butler and its mayor pro tem Harold Owen were particularly adamant that the city should address these concerns sooner rather than later.
Owen also called for some more specificity to the gas station’s proposed zoning, which had been filed as a generic request for light institutional use.
This recommendation ultimately prompted Matt Wall, a local attorney in the employ of the property owner, to offer to withdraw the request in order to resubmit it in a form that the council would find more palatable.