Port Royal council denies canopy redesigns for gas station

emoody@beaufortgazette.comJuly 17, 2013 

Canopy designs for a Parker's gas station and convenience store proposed for the entrance to Port Royal's Old Village have been denied by Town Council.

After a wide-ranging, hour-long discussion, the council voted 4-1 Wednesday to reject any of the suggestions from Parker's for how to redesign the canopy.

Pinckney Enterprises, the developers of the store proposed for the intersection of Paris Avenue and Ribaut Road, filed a lawsuit in May asking that its disagreement with the town over the station's design be mediated.

The company didn't like the plan for the station approved by the town's review board. The company wanted eight gas pumps instead of six and a different canopy design.

Representatives for the town and Parker's said Wednesday they agreed in mediation to reduce the number of gas pumps to six. But they remained at odds on the style of the canopy that would go over the pumps and the decorations and slope the canopy should have.

Resident Phil Alling said the redesigns were out of character with the area and asked that they be denied.

"I cannot believe an innovative architect cannot design a building that can reasonably and creatively fit in there and serve Port Royal," he said.

Parker's representative, John Bender, and the company's attorney, Walter Nester, urged council to move forward on the project.

"I ask this council to respect the efforts of this company that is trying to work with your staff and board for the benefit of this community," Nester said.

Bender said new plans that remove two gas pumps and shorten the canopy resulted in a design similar to those approved by the review board.

The review board consults with local architect Cooter Ramsey on projects, particularly if there are issues to be resolved.

Ramsey said asphalt and other impervious surfaces in the new Parker's design should be reduced further by landscaping or other means.

What happens next is up to Parker's and the developers, town officials said. They could use the design first approved by the review board -- with six gas pumps and a canopy the developers and company don't like -- or pursue further legal action.

Follow reporter Erin Moody at twitter.com/IPBG_Erin.

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