Royal Farms has cleared the final hurdle to build a new gas station and convenience store in Milton after town council approved final site plans in a 6-1 vote.
Royal Farms can now move forward with applying for building permits to build at the corner of Route 16 and Route 5. Royal Farms is planning to break ground on the 4,700-square-foot convenience store, with 5,100 square feet for gas pumps, later this summer.
The final site plan was approved by the planning and zoning commission May 16, wrapping up a review process that has taken two-and-a-half years.
The two-acre parcel for the Royal Farms was part of a greater seven-plus-acre parcel that was annexed into Milton in December 2020, then partitioned in July 2021. Planning and zoning approved a special-use permit and the preliminary site plan for the project in October 2021, and Royal Farms asked for and received an extension of those approvals in October 2022.
James Taylor, an engineer with Duffield Associates, told council June 5 that much of the delay in the project was for engineering of intersection improvements at Route 5 and Route 16, which will include turn lanes, reconfiguring the traffic signal and pedestrian walkways.
The Royal Farms will have entrances off Route 16 and off Cedar Creek Road at the rear of the property.
“This plan, I would say, significantly improves the intersection of Route 5 and Route 16,” Taylor said. “Currently, this is not a favorable intersection the town has.”
Among those improvements, Taylor said, are left-turn lanes from Route 16 onto Route 5 in both directions, a right-turn lane onto Route 16 and better pedestrian access across Route 16 and Route 5.
After some questions about the turn lanes into the property, council moved forward with a vote, with only Councilman Scotty Edler voting no.