A plan to knock down the 7-Eleven at the intersection of Richmond Highway and Lukens Lane and replace it with a more modern store with gas pumps was approved by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday.
The new 7-Eleven will be located in the empty lot next to the current store (the former location of Denny’s) while the gas pumps and canopy will be roughly in the spot where the current store sits. There will be a total of 12 fuel pumps at six pumping stations, as well as 36 parking spaces to the side and rear of the building. A 7-foot tall barrier will be built on southern boundary of the property, as well as a 12-foot landscape buffer.
The building will be prototype store for the franchise, and will feature a brick exterior as well as brick columns for the canopy over the gas pumps. Deciduous trees and shrubs will be planted around the property, and a brick monument-style sign will replace the existing sign along Route 1.
A number of new conditions were negotiated with 7-Eleven as part of the approval, including undergrounding utilities at the site, adding infrastructure for a future electric vehicle charging station, and a number of specific green building practices. Additionally, the company agreed to clean litter from the lot on a daily basis, to not put advertisements or displays in the windows facing Richmond Highway (blinds are OK), and the installation of two bike racks.
The modified property will only have one right-in, right-out entrance on the Richmond Highway side; the current layout has three entrances along the service road, which will be removed with the upcoming widening of Richmond Highway. There will also be another entrance on the Lukens Lane side as well.
County staff from the Department of Planning and Zoning recommended approval of the project back in June, and the Fairfax County Planning Commission gave it a thumbs-up last week after some the added development conditions were agreed upon. The project also received approval from the Engleside Civic Association.
During Tuesday’s hearing both the lawyer representing 7-Eleven and Mount Vernon Supervisor Dan Storck both thanked county staffers and the Mount Vernon Council of Citizens Associations for working together on the project. Storck also emphasized the importance of litter being cleaned regularly on the property, which will address an issue he’s seen at other convenience stores in the area, as well as the design principles that will be going into construction of the building.
“I’m particularly pleased not only with the litter pickup requirement … [but also that 7-Eleven is] following the new urban design guidelines,” Storck said. “I think we have something that really … represents what’s coming to the corridor.”