The Royal Palm Beach Village Council last week approved a request by RaceTrac to add two more fuel pumps and extend the canopy at its gas station on the northwest corner of Southern and Royal Palm Beach boulevards.
The existing RaceTrac location has eight fueling stations. Village staff recommended approval of the additional fuel pumps, and the Royal Palm Beach Planning & Zoning Commission supported the change in a 5-0 vote on Oct. 27.
Brian Terry, representing the applicant at the Thursday, Nov. 19 meeting, said the original plans called for 10 fueling stations, but two were removed in the final approval meeting following a contentious series of highly attended public meetings.
“There was a lot of consideration and concern at that point in time about how the site would function,” Terry said. “I believe now that we have opened, it has been very successful… from the standpoint of servicing the community.”
He pointed out that the site had been built according to the original plans, except for the above-ground portion of the two fuel pumps, and the addition could be achieved with minimal construction modifications.
“We think the modification would make the site work more efficiently and make it more convenient for the customers,” he said.
Councilwoman Jan Rodusky asked what the current traffic flow is through the station and how adding the pumps would affect it. Terry said he did not have a technical study of traffic flow on that specific site, but he pointed out that all RaceTrac stations are designed with traffic flow in mind.
Village Manager Ray Liggins said the original plan with 10 pumps met all traffic criteria. There was no public comment at the meeting.
Mayor Fred Pinto said he had only heard positive feedback about the station.
“None of the negative things about what we thought could happen from a traffic standpoint, and otherwise, have occurred,” Pinto said. “I think it is really providing a great service for our citizens of this village.”
Councilman Richard Valuntas agreed that the station is a good service for residents and felt adding the fueling stations would improve traffic flow, which sometimes stacks up during rush hours.
“At busy times, it happens, so hopefully this will improve flow through the site,” Valuntas said.
Vice Mayor Jeff Hmara shared similar positive experiences at the gas station and convenience store.
“The quality of the provisions in the convenience store has been outstanding,” he said. “I have had the experience of having to wait in line, and while that’s not a very scientific assessment — numbers probably would have been a little bit better — but the bottom line is I have had that real world experience.”
Valuntas made a motion to approve the additional fuel pumps, which carried 5-0.