New gas station approved in Janesville

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Frank Schultz
Tuesday, February 18, 2014

JANESVILLE—A proposed gas station on Janesville's south side was approved by the city plan commission Monday despite protests of neighbors.

The nearest residential neighbor and some nearby business owners said a 16-pump corporate gas station could put nearby gas stations, a tobacco store and liquor store out of business.

The proposed Casey's General Store would sell beer and wine.

Center Avenue already has four gas stations within a half mile of the proposed site, said Dawn Renee Penn of 906 Joliet St.

The Casey's will be built on a lot at the corner of Center Avenue and Joliet Street, which is vacant except for a residential-style garage that would be razed, according to city a memo.

The 2.12-acre site is zoned B3, general commercial. Plan commission approval was required for a conditional-use permit for the gas station.

“This corner needs business, but what it needs is something that will not take any sales from existing businesses,” said Dash Patel, owner of the Exxon station in the same block as the proposed Casey's, in a letter to the commission.

The store and gas pumps would be open 24 hours a day.

Also raised were motor- and foot-traffic concerns. The Casey's would be next to a fire station and near a walking route for schoolchildren.

Commission member Doug Marklein said he knows of three east-side gas stations that have been holding their own in close proximity for years. He suggested customer service would determine where customers would go.

The city community development staff recommended approval. Business competition is not one of the criteria that must be addressed for the conditional use permit, said Duane Cherek, planning services manager.

The vote to approve the Casey's was 5-0.

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