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Expansion to improve traffic flow

The Valero gas station at 2118 E. Main St. will expand with a drive-through later this year.

The Springfield Board of Zoning Appeals approved a conditional use permit for the expansion at its meeting Monday by a vote of 6-0.

According to public documents, the owner, Ragwir Singh of Jagraon Enterprises, is under contract with the residential property at 15 N. Arlington Ave. Once the sale is completed, he expects to tear down the home to build a much larger convenience store.

“It’ll be an overall improvement to the area,” said Bryan Heck, the city’s planning and zoning administrator. “The site is extremely congested and it will allow for better traffic circulation, better flow.”

The plan will increase the lot size, add additional parking for customers and a drive-through. A privacy fence will also be added behind the building to shield the gas station from nearby neighbors.

The store will also remain open during the renovations, according to Donald Kiley of K&A Architecture, the owner’s architect. Once the new store is finished, the old one will be demolished.

The number of gas pumps won’t change as part of the renovation.

The owner wished to change the layout of the station several years ago, Kiley said, but “there was no good solution.” As the property behind the gas station became available, the expansion became possible.

Kiley said the building will be masonry and have a pitched roof.

“It will have a very residential feel to it,” Kiley said.

As part of the renovation plans, the curb cut nearest East Main Street and North Arlington Avenue will be removed.

“It’ll improve the safety of people exiting not just out of the gas station, but off of Arlington as well because, as we know, Main Street is a very heavily trafficked area,” Heck said. “Any time you take away an ingress-egress point, it just adds to the level of safety on that roadway system.”

The expansion will also benefit the nearby Subway restaurant, which has parking spots directly adjacent to the convenience store.

“This will allow (Valero) to have their own separate site,” Heck said.

The gas station is one of several building projects that will take place on East Main Street over the next several months. A Tim Horton’s location is under construction on the corner of East Main Street and Belmont Avenue, while the Los Mariachi’s restaurant, 1815 E Main St., is expanding its parking lot.

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