BETHEL Decision on Big Apple station tabled

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BETHEL – The Planning Board on Thursday tabled a decision on a $500,000 expansion at C.N. Brown’s Big Apple convenience store and gas station to the next meeting in two weeks.

C.N. Brown, through agent SYT Design Consultants of Cumberland, filed for a site-plan application to replace the 1,400-square-foot convenience store and gas station, and heating oil office, with a 1,674-square-foot store and station, and a Dunkin’ Donuts drive-through window. The heating oil office will be moved to another location.

According to the application, the station will retain its four gasoline fueling positions, two diesel fueling positions, and a propane storage area and heating fuel tanks on the property’s easterly side. Seventeen parking spaces will be added and the lot paved.

Wednesday night’s public hearing on the project was adjourned soon after it opened, Planning Board Chairman Allen Cressy said Thursday night in Bethel.

During the regular meeting, some issues were resolved, like driveway lighting, a rear 20-foot setback, for which a waiver was granted for the Dumpster pad, and protecting the heating oil and propane storage tanks, which the company agreed to do, Cressy said.

But an unexpected issue involving signs and lighting sparked a “lively” discussion that eventually led planners to table discussion to the next meeting, he said.

That involved an internally lit 18-foot-tall pedestal Shell sign, and a canopy Shell sign over the fuel pumps. C.N. Brown doesn’t plan to replace existing signs – just the building – and that presented a complication, because internally lit signs are prohibited by Bethel’s site-plan review ordinance.

Cressy said planners wanted clarification on the issue from the Maine Municipal Association before addressing the signs issues.

C.N. Brown closed the Big Apple station last week and began removing everything inside, anticipating getting an OK from planners Wednesday night. On Wednesday afternoon, prior to the meeting, a large sign beside the fuel pumps said the store and station were temporarily closed for environmental upgrade.

In other business:

• Storm-water management plans, internal roads and fire protection issues regarding Savage Land Development LLC’s proposed 59-lot residential Timber Creek Subdivision on 138 acres at the base of Farwell Mountain off Osgood Road, which is off Intervale Road in East Bethel.

• Fire protection, storm-water management, soil issues, and an unexpectedly required phosphorous analysis for the nine-lot Hapgood Homestead Subdivision by applicant Mahomey Realty Trust of Martha’s Vineyard, Mass., because a stream flows through the project and empties into Songo Pond. Work just began on the project that is on 12 acres beside Route 5 just north of Songo Pond.

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