• Planners deny RaceTrac gas station, approve Steak N Shake

    By Sinclaire Sparkman -

    The Lebanon Planning Commission said no Tuesday to a site plan for a RaceTrac gas station at 405 S. Cumberland St. – the site of what used to be Ryan’s restaurant.

    The commission discussed the plan in its work session last week and cited concerns that an entrance onto Tennessee Boulevard would create traffic problems at one of the busiest intersections in Lebanon. The Lebanon fire officials also said the island turning lane onto South Cumberland Street should be removed.

    City planning staff recommended approval for the plan as long as the fire department comments were followed and the access to Tennessee Boulevard removed.

    RaceTrac representative Drew Cunningham explained a bit about the company before the vote.

    “We like to think of ourselves as more of a neighborhood market, free Wi-Fi, coffee, frozen yogurt and a patio that people can sit on. [It’s] more of a place that you can come through but also stay, hang out, have a business meeting, things of that nature,” Cunningham said.

    “We agree with all the staff recommendations, minus the access to Tennessee Boulevard. We really believe access onto Tennessee Boulevard is crucial to our success here, and we think we can come up with some maybe creative solutions to modify the access,” Cunningham said.

    He said the Thanksgiving holiday kept company officials from meeting with city staff to talk out the access issue, and the December planning commission meeting was a bit too far away from a contractor standpoint.

    Commissioner Chad Williams made a motion to deny the item.

    “I think that if we allow access onto Tennessee Boulevard on that short distance between [U.S.] 231 and Cainsville Road, it’s going to create a traffic disaster, and based on that alone I make a motion that we deny based on their unwillingness to get rid of the entrance onto Tennessee Boulevard.”

    Commissioner Kathy Adams gave the second, and the vote to deny was unanimous.

    The commission approved a site plan for Steak N Shake at 1000 Murfreesboro Road, next to the Lebanon Outlet Marketplace and Fetcho’s Precision Auto Body.

    The Lebanon Planning Commission will meet Dec. 18 at 4 p.m., prior to the Lebanon City Council meeting at 6 p.m., at 200 N. Castle Heights Ave. in Lebanon.

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