Public safety and location provided enough red flags Monday for the Ripon Planning Commission to not pursue the River Road / North Ripon Road Gas Station project.
“This is not the right move at this time,” said Chairman David Collins during the virtual session.
Part of the reason for that was addressed by Police Chief Ed Ormonde.
The proposed project at 112 W. Ripon Road straddles along city limits, where the job of local law enforcement would be become difficult due to jurisdiction.
“My other concerns are traffic related,” said Ormonde, who noted the significant rise of collisions being more than just fender benders.
The project – some of the Commissioners did mention that a gas station in the area is needed – would attract more traffic to River Road.
Planning Director Ken Zuidervaart said that the future of North Ripon Road is to be “widen to its ultimate buildout designed width” consisting of a 102-foot right-of-way and a center median.
Motorists, Omonde noted, have been known to ignore the stop signs at the round-about at the nearby intersection.
Zuidervaart referred to River Road/Ripon Road intersection as “glorified stop signs with an island in the middle.”
Couple that with commuters cutting through and accessing North Ripon Road to East Milgeo Avenue in order to get to Highway 99, in turn, further impacting that area, Ormonde said.
The zoned Neighborhood Commercial area has high-end eateries such as Fina and, next to that, Austin’s Coffee Crafters, The Vine House, and Primos Restaurant & Tequila Bar. The proposed project, in addition to the convenience store/gas station, also featured limited food service drive-through for possibly a yogurt shop or a take-and-bake pizza, according to Zuidervaart.
“We have a nice shopping center,” Commissioner Debra Van Essen said. “I think this (gas station project) would take away from that.”
Those in opposition agreed, saying that the project is not complimentary to the area while attracting increased traffic and possibly crime.
A motion to approve the project by Commissioners was on the table but failed to get a second supportive vote.
Zuidervaart added that the applicant could put in for an appeal.