On Dec. 14, Marathon’s Planning Commission approved a conditional use for a RaceTrac filling station and convenience store. It would be located across Overseas Highway from Marathon Community Park, where Fairway Market and other businesses like South Sea Boat Trailers are now.

The proposed site for the RaceTrac is on an L-shaped lot fronting Overseas Highway and extending down 39th Street. The 2.2-acre site will feature a 5,000-square-foot convenience store, 16 self-service fuel pumps and 3 high-capacity fuel pumps to the rear.

The commission voted 4-0 to approve the project and the developer did not seek any variances to city regulations. Planning Commissioner Mike Cinque was absent.

“This is a good redevelopment project in a part of town that needs a facelift,” said Planning Commissioner Matt Sexton, who also suggested the corporation might include a charging station for electric vehicles.

Commissioner Mike Leonard also asked for information about the environmental findings on the site and a “beefed up” landscaping plan to be forwarded to the Marathon City Council when it considers the project at a future meeting. Planning Commissioner Eugene Gilson asked the presentation include a “wheels” diagram that would illustrate traffic flow through the site.

If approved by the council, the RaceTrac would stretch from the corner of 39th Street to the Homeland Security building.

“This is a quality company, first class all the way,” Leonard said, referring to RaceTrac. “I’m not trying to put an arrow through the heart of this, I’m just trying to understand the EPA side. Otherwise, it’s a tremendous project.”

The plans call for:

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  • On-site retention and treatment of stormwater in underwater tanks. Currently, the site has none, according to Steve Hurley of Cardno, the agent representing RaceTrac.
  • Heavy landscaping around the entire project while maintaining proper line-of-sight specs for traffic safety.
  • Four driveways accessing the site: one on the west end of the property on Overseas Highway and three on 39th Street, including one that would allow large vehicles entry to the separate diesel pumps.
  • An extra fire hydrant and access behind the convenience store building for Marathon Fire Rescue clearances.
  • An extra inch of asphalt on 39th Street in expectation of higher traffic.

Hurley presented traffic studies that project an allowable amount of trips per day during morning and afternoon rush hour — one car every minute and a half in the a.m. and one car every two minutes in the p.m.

RaceTrac has more than 650 locations through the Southeastern U.S. and employs more than 7,000. Its current president and marketing officials, Natalie Bolch and Melanie Isbill, are granddaughters of founder Carl Bolch Sr. 

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