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PTC OKs 24-hour RaceTrac for Hwy. 54W

With its signature “corporate” red stripe removed from the gas canopy, RaceTrac won a conceptual site plan approval from the Peachtree City Planning Commission Monday night.

The store, just under 6,000 square feet in size, will be located off Ga. Highway 54 West at Line Creek Drive. With 10 double-sided gas pumps, it will be the second-largest gas station in the city, but it also may be one of the nicest-looking, featuring a stacked stone and brick exterior, directly across the busy 4-lane from the entrance to the Walmart and Home Depot shopping areas.

Commissioner Patrick Staples asked if RaceTrac could remove four of the 20 gas pumps, but company officials replied that it has already trimmed four pumps from its prototypical store, in part to improve circulation of vehicles in the area. RaceTrac attorney Doug Dillard said reducing the pumps by another 20 percent would just be too much.

Company officials said they would lose customers quickly if they had to wait any length of time before pumping gas.

“People will pay two cents more a gallon if it means they won’t have to wait,” said RaceTrac representative Cindy Erfurt.

Two citizens expressed concern about security problems posed by an outdoor eating patio outside the store, since it will be open 24 hours a day.

Company officials said the area will be patrolled frequently by employees, and also that there will be security video cameras on the property as well. Resident Mary Giles, noting that the store will attract residents from outside of Peachtree City, said she was concerned that the design of the store offers no way for a RaceTrac employee to keep an eye on the area at all times.

Giles pointed out that the store would be selling package alcohol, but Dillard noted that it would not be for consumption on premises.

Cardiff Park resident Tim Lydell said he worried about RaceTrac patrons making noise while residents in his neighborhood are trying to sleep. He noted that some homes in his subdivision will be about 500 feet from the store.

Although it won’t apply to gasoline deliveries, RaceTrac has committed to limiting delivery trucks to coming between the hours of 5 a.m. and 11 p.m. That will apply to all trucks delivering product to the store with the exception of gas trucks, officials said.

Though the RaceTrac plan won approval from the commission, there are a few tweaks that may still occur as construction nears. Commissioners strongly urged the company to move three golf cart parking spaces closer to the front of the store, or they will risk the regular automobile parking spaces being taken up by smaller golf carts.

The reason for locating the golf cart parking spaces closer to the rear of the building was to avoid conflicts between cars and golf carts in the parking lot, Dillard said.

There was also talk about a stamped concrete walkway from the gas pumps to the store. Commissioner Aaron Daily suggested the walkway could be widened so more customers might be encouraged to use it.

The site plan features a golf cart path along Hwy. 54 that will link to an existing path off Planterra Way. Automobiles will access the RaceTrac via Line Creek Drive and a potential right-in, right-out curb cut on Hwy. 54.

There was also some discussion about the proposed signs for the gas pumps, which had the RaceTrac logo on the top and bottom of the pumps. But the sign program for the site, which has not yet been submitted, will have to comply with the city’s overall sign ordinance and any sign regulations adopted for the Hwy. 54 overlay corridor, said City Planner David Rast.

The commission does not have purview over the sign program, which is reviewed and approved by city staff, Rast noted.

There was also talk of the faux windows included at the rear of the store. Although it’s possible they may be removed depending on what the grade change is in the rear of the property, Lydell suggested that black faux windows can look rather nice, pointing to a development in nearby Senoia.

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