News, Union Grove

Raymond reviews revised Road Ranger application

New gas station back before the village board

By Dave Fidlin

A proposed large-scale gas station close to Interstate 94 in Raymond was back under the microscope recently after a previous proposal was nixed last May.

Road Ranger, a convenience store chain with 49 locations across the Midwest and Southwest, has been seeking approval from Raymond officials for a convenience store at 2058 27th St. Currently, 7 Mile Fair Inc. owns the property.

The Raymond Village Board last May denied Road Ranger’s application, on a 3-2 vote, citing a number of concerns about the impact the development would have on the surrounding area.

Road Ranger representatives have since resubmitted their application to village officials, with more information and further details about the proposal presented.

“This plan is not substantially the same as the old one,” Jeffrey Liotta, an attorney representing Road Ranger, said during a preliminary discussion of the new application at special Raymond Village Board meting Feb. 6.

Road Ranger’s new submittal to the village includes a 24% increase in landscaping, a completed stormwater management report and a study of noise impact.

As proposed, Road Ranger’s convenience store would abut Raymond Heights, a subdivision. Residents within that development had previously shared concerns of noise impacts from trucks idling and vehicles coming and going from the business.

Steve Vanden Noven, vice president of real estate and development with Road Ranger, said the company has tried doing its due diligence since last spring’s initial presentation. The company’s overtures, he said, have included neighborhood meetings.

“We met as a team,” Vanden Noven reported at the Feb. 6 meeting. “Let’s find a way to make this a win-win for everybody.”

Vanden Noven said the company spent additional funds since last spring on a range of studies in the hopes of seeking a compromise.

“We’ve invested $70,000 because it’s worth it,” Vanden Noven said. “We needed to invest the money to come up with the right answers.”

If Road Ranger’s plans do move forward, the company indicated it plans to employ 30 to 35 people on a full-time basis and an additional 15 to 20 people on a part-time basis.

Similar to other large-scale truck stops, Road Ranger is targeted to interstate travelers, including truck drivers. The operation could feature such amenities as showers, in addition to more standard offerings that are commonplace at convenience stores.

In a nod to a newer prototype, Vanden Noven indicated the proposed Raymond Road Ranger likely would have a number of state-of-the-art features, including electric charging stations.

To move forward, Raymond officials would have to rezone the 27th Street parcel from its current designation of industrial/business park use to commercial use.

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