Fairfax County’s Department of Planning and Development has recommended that Costco’s request to install gas pumps at its Hybla Valley location be approved.
The application will now go before the Fairfax County Planning Commission in a public hearing scheduled for September 18. A second public hearing and final vote on the plan is scheduled for the October 15 meeting of the Board of Supervisors.
Costco is hoping to install 18 gas pumps in the southwest corner of their parking lot, bordering Ladson Lane to the south and the Audubon Estates mobile home community to the west. The station would have an attendant’s booth and a canopy, and up to 24 cars would be able to queue in six lanes at the station, according to the Department of Planning and Development’s staff report.
The station will take up a little less an acre of Costco’s 11.17-acre property. The parking lot currently has 570 spaces, but that will drop to 485 to make room for the gas station.
Vehicles will access the gas station either from Ladson Lane or from the Sherwood Hall Lane entrance in front of the Walmart. The plan for the station proposes adding a right turning lane into the station on Ladson Lane, as well as a new 225-foot right turn lane from Ladson to Richmond Highway.
A new four-foot tall solid wall would replace a chain link fence along Ladson Lane. No sound barrier will be built to separate the station from the Audubon Estates mobile home community to the west, but the staff report does recommend that Costco perform a noise study prior to submitting their site plan.
The staff report said that new landscaping on the property as part of the project would actually increase the number of trees and shrubs around Costco.
If Costco’s gas pumps are approved, it will mark the second county approval of a new gas station on Richmond Highway in less than three months. In July, the Board of Supervisors approved a plan to build six pumping stations featuring a total of 12 pumps at the 7-Eleven at the intersection of Richmond Highway and Lukens Lane. Prior to that a new gas station had not been built on the highway between the Beltway and Fort Belvoir in many years.
The staff report for the Costco plan does not mention electric charging stations; however part of the final approval for the 7-Eleven gas station required infrastructure for a future charging station there. That component of the plan was not added until after the planning commission review, however.
Costco did say it would donate $44,000 for a future bike lane and sidewalk improvements along the Richmond Highway border of its property, according to the staff report. The bike lane is planned as part of the Richmond Highway Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project that is slated to begin next decade.