Fill up your gas tank and your Slurpee cup all in one stop. The 7-Eleven at the corner of the Island Highway and Hilchey Rd. in Willow Point is getting a new convenience store, outdoor patio area, and four double-sided gas pumps.
Campbell River city council approved the development permit application from EXP Services Inc. at its Monday (Oct. 18) meeting.
According to officials, the project comes at a time when additional gas stations are needed more than ever, as this area of town sees new housing developments. Currently, there are two existing gas stations in Campbell River’s south end.
“The majority of council recognize the infill density that is going on all over Campbell River, but you can see the number of apartments and condos that are going up in [Willow Point]. There will be pressure and requirements for these types of services,” Mayor Andy Adams tells My Campbell River Now.
Developers say the redesigned convenience store is based on a “west coast contemporary design” with decreased branding on the gas canopy.
Ultimately, the development fits under the City’s ‘Village Centre designation’ supporting high quality and attractive shopping areas, and according to Adams, “everything that they were requesting was in full compliance with all of our development zoning bylaws.”
“7-Eleven has been there for an awfully long time,” he says. “They’re looking to refresh and rebrand that store and make it nice and attractive.”
There’s no word on when construction will start.
However, at Monday’s city council meeting, not all councillors were in support of the project. Two were actually opposed.
Councillor Ron Kerr voiced concerns about gas pumps being too close to the existing apartment building next door. But there are no regulations in regards to a gas facility’s distance to residences, city planner Meghan Norman told council.
“My concern is not just the obvious safety concern of having a gas bar next to an apartment building, but you’ve got all those fumes going up into all those windows and patio doors. It seems absurd,” Kerr said.
And councillor Charlie Cornfield doesn’t see the need for another gas station. As well, he finds the Island Highway and Hilchey intersection is one of the busiest in town.
“I think directing too much traffic into that corner is not a helpful situation to have,” Cornfield said. “I certainly don’t support that.”
Locals also wrote to city council sharing their concerns. Read public feedback here.
Meanwhile, councillor Kermit Dahl voiced his support of the project. He’s all for a new building at the corner of the Island Highway and Hilchey Rd.
“It’ll be nice … to maybe not have to sit in line at the Shell station waiting for gas in the summertime. Inevitably, every Sunday, you’re waiting in line,” Dahl added. “That building has been there for 30 something years. It looks like an old 7-Eleven, it’ll be nice to see a new 7-Eleven down there.”