The Brentwood City Council has shelved a decision about a proposed gas station project’s future until a noise study has been completed.
Councilmembers say they need more information to determine whether the project — a Rotten Robbie gas station, detached drive-thru car wash and a convenience store, at 6860 and 6890 Lone Tree Way — would generate unacceptable disruption for nearby residences.
The proposed site is located on the northwest corner of the Lone Tree Way and Fairview Avenue intersection, with the Visions at Brentwood residential subdivision across Lone Tree Way, south of the property.
“I think there is a need for a gas station in that area,” said Councilmember Karen Rarey. “I am just having a problem with the noise issue there.”
City staff already recommended approval of required project documents, which the planning commission carried out, but that decision was appealed by representatives of the nearby Brentwood Auto Spa, who expressed a variety of concerns unrelated to noise, including that the new facility could oversaturate the area with similar businesses.
The appeal, heard by the council in late November, opened the door for councilmembers to raise new concerns about noise.
“I think the noise is a big issue, even though Lone Tree is a very busy street,” said Councilmember Claudette Staton.
When the project was submitted, city staff determined that it didn’t warrant a project-specific or site-specific noise study by an acoustical consultant — a staff decision determined on a case-by-case basis — but the proposed project noise was analyzed with help from an outside planning and management company, using available city documents, said Planning Manager Erik Nolthenius.
Rarey said available sound analysis determined that the dryer at the carwash — scheduled to be open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily — would generate 59 decibels of sound (just below the acceptable 60) at the nearest residences’ property line. But also concerning are estimates that traffic noise on Lone Tree, between Fairview and Empire avenues, is projected to be 64.6 decibels over a 24-hour period at buildout, Rarey said.
A sound wall shields nearby residences right against Lone Tree Way, but Rarey pointed out that the top part of the homes’ windows look out over the sound wall.
“Sound travels,” Rarey said. “We have the 65-plus decibels coming, plus we have 59 decibels coming from the dryer at the property line of the nearest residences.”
The project applicant, Tom Robinson, CEO of Robison Oil, said he believes noise won’t be an issue.
He noted that the only public correspondence the city received during the planning process was from Brentwood Auto Spa representatives, and was unrelated to sound.
Furthermore, it appears the already established Chevron gas station on Fairview Avenue is closer to the homes in question than the proposed new station, and the dryer in question will be situated in the northwest corner of the property, tucked against Acorn Self Storage, he said.
“I don’t know who is going to hear us, quite frankly,” he said. “Where that thing is situated, you either have six lanes of road or a whole bunch of self-storage or a shopping center.”
Aside from the noise, Nolthenius noted that Brentwood Auto Spa’s appeal, on the grounds that the new station would create negative economic impacts for their business, appears to be outside the control of city governing bodies.
If approved, the station would be the eighth current or future-planned station on Lone Tree Way, between Heidorn Ranch Road and Brentwood Boulevard, but the first on the north side of the road.
“Competitive impacts on a single business are not something that can be considered by either the commission or council in making a decision on this project,” Nolthenius said, noting that the proposed new project also isn’t expected to contribute to urban decay — another concern mentioned during the appeal.
It’s unclear when the sound study will be completed or when the council will take up the appeal again.
For more information, visit page 371 in the packet at bit.ly/2RhwesQ.