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Panel OKs gas storage center

The Fredericksburg Planning Commission on Wednesday voted to recommend approval of a request from Lincoln Terminal Co. that would allow it to convert a propane facility off Dixon Street into one for gas storage and distribution.

The request to amend a special use permit was approved with a 6–1 vote. Planning Commissioner James Pates voted against the request because it was his first meeting and he wanted time to review the information related to the application.

The request next goes to the City Council for consideration.

Zoning Administrator Debra Mathis had suggested a traffic study be conducted before the commission acted, but said during Wednesday’s public hearing that she had since learned that residents of the nearby Mayfield community said their concerns had been allayed and they did not expect Lincoln Terminal’s activities to increase traffic along Dixon Street.

Lincoln Terminal plans to buy the 10.2-acre Quarles Petroleum site at 1500 Beulah Salisbury Drive. Lincoln Terminal, owned by Lincoln Energy Solutions Inc. of Greenville, S.C., wants to convert the Quarles facility from one for propane storage and distribution to one for gas, biodiesel and ethanol storage and distribution.

Lincoln Terminal plans to invest $7 million to convert the site, including installing six additional tanks and adding landscaping.

Quarles plans to relocate across the street to where Service Tire Truck Center currently operates on a 2.47-acre site located in Spotsylvania County.

A public hearing on Lincoln Terminal’s application for an amended special use permit started on Nov. 13 and was continued to Wednesday’s meeting to allow residents of the Mayfield community time to meet with company representatives.

Former Mayor Lawrence Davies, acting president of the Mayfield Civic Association, said in November that the community wanted assurances about the safeguards being put in place. The site sits along the Rappahannock River alongside Dixon Park and across Dixon Street from the Mayfield community.

Representatives from both Lincoln Energy Solutions and Quarles Petroleum attended the Nov. 21 Mayfield Civic Association meeting.

Lincoln Energy Solutions President Larry Burgamy Jr. also attended Wednesday’s Planning Commission meeting to answer commissioners’ questions.

Last week, Davies said the community was satisfied with the information it heard regarding safety and traffic issues.

Councilwoman Bea Paolucci spoke on behalf of the community Wednesday night, reiterating that Mayfield residents were no longer concerned about safety and traffic.

Burgamy said he does not expect the addition of his operation and the move of the Quarles operation to increase traffic along Dixon Street.

Paolucci noted that both Beulah Salisbury Drive and Dixon Street in that location are within Spotsylvania County, so regardless of what a traffic study showed, the city would have no authority to act. She added that she plans to meet with Gary Skinner of the Spotsylvania Board of Supervisors next week to discuss traffic issues on Dixon Street.

She said the traffic congestion along Dixon Street during peak hours is a result of growth in Spotsylvania.

Pamela Gould: 540/735-1972