A Rutter’s convenience store and gas station is still in the works near New Market despite nearby residents voicing concerns about the gas station being used as a truck stop.
The proposed location is at Mussetter Road and Md. 144.
“The day that property was posted, I started getting a lot of correspondence from very concerned residents about the prospects of that proposal for that location,” said County Councilman Steve McKay, whose district includes New Market. “The concern was basically the truck traffic it would generate.”
The location is a commercially zoned site that allows a gas station and convenience store to go there, but the possibility of the gas station also doubling as a truck stop concerns residents, he said.
The plan for Rutter’s also doesn’t appear to be supported by the county’s zoning ordinance, he said.
“The zoning ordinance has a specific definition of truck stops,” he said. “And they’re not allowed in [a] general commercial [zone]. They’re intended to be along an interstate.”
A spokesperson for Rutter’s could not be reached for comment on Friday.
McKay said the county is also “dealing with the impact” of the Costco distribution warehouse when it comes to trucks on Md. 75.
“One of my concerns was always that this would be a natural draw for trucks coming out of Costco to go fuel up or to have a secure place to [stay] overnight at this location,” he said.
The Costco warehouse is just over Interstate 70 in Monrovia.
This in turn would increase tractor-trailer traffic in downtown New Market, where there’s parking on both sides of the street and a lot of foot traffic, McKay said.
“That just seems like a recipe for a lot of problems,” he said.
Rutter’s submitted an application to the county’s planning and permitting department in March, according to Mike Wilkins, director of the Department of Planning and Development Review for Frederick County.
The project was scheduled to go to the county’s Planning Commission hearing on Wednesday, but asked to reschedule.
“It’s still an active application,” Wilkins said.
The applicant decided to reschedule after the county shared with Rutter’s some of the concerns that were being raised regarding the project, according to Wilkins.
“The primary concern was that the use was more a truck stop use than a convenience store use,” he said. “A lot of local residents were concerned about tractor-trailer traffic.”
A 30-day public notice is required prior to the hearing, meaning the earliest it could go before the Planning Commission is October.
Wilkins met with the project manager for Rutter’s and said the project managers “were going to take it to their higher-ups and decide how they would like to move forward.”
The application is still under review and Rutter’s still can resubmit and make changes to their current application if they wish to do so.
While McKay is opposed to the truck stop portion of it, he has no objection to a gas station going there.
“I know the residents were concerned about that location being across from a child care center and the fact that there’s a truck stop being at the entrance of their community,” he said. “My primary concern was the truck traffic and what it would mean from a safety perspective.”