Beaufort approves new gas station rules that allow for more pumps but require more eye-pleasing designs

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Soon to go into hiding.

On Tuesday Beaufort City Council gave approval on second reading to a new set of rules that strike out a controversial cap on the number of fuel pumps at gas stations but add new rules that require the pumps to be generally hidden from street view and generally make the gas stations more eye pleasing.

According to the council's meeting agenda the new rules aim to:

  • Changing the approval process for gas stations in the SC 170 and US 21 Design Districts,
    from a use permitted by special exception, to a conditional use;
  • Eliminating the cap on the number of pumps;
  • Adding a standard that limits gas stations to no more than two comers of major
    intersections and one comer at minor intersections; and
  • Eliminating the requirement that pump islands must be split by the building.

As for the new design rules the new rule states:

  • Parking andlor service areas shall be separated from adjoining residential properties by a suitable planting screen, fence or wall at least six feet in height;
  • No more than two Fuel Sales facilities are permitted at an intersection of any Arterial Street (Section 7.2.B). No more than one Fuel Sales facility is permitted at the intersection of other streets.
  • In new development, pumps should not be located between the building and the adjacent street, but instead be placed behind the building, although the Design Review Board may permit pumps to be located to one side of the building based on unique site conditions including the presence of wide buffers. In such cases, the pumps, including the canopy, shall not project further toward the street than the front line of the building.
  • No signs shall be located on any canopy over the pumps.
  • Any freestanding light fixtures shall be reduced in height to fifteen feet if the use adjoins a residential district or residential use.
  • Any service bay doors shall not be oriented toward any public right-of-way.

You can check out all the new rules in this PDF.

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