Champlain Oil wins DRB approval (8/27/09)

Aug. 27, 2009

By Tim Simard

Observer staff

Champlain Oil Company Inc. presented improved plans for a new office center and fleet fueling facility to the Development Review Board on Tuesday night. The South Burlington-based company is looking to move its main operations to Marshall Avenue in Williston in the near future.

After Champlain Oil’s presentation, the Development Review Board unanimously approved a pre-application permit for the site. The company will bring more detailed plans to the board for a discretionary permit at a later date.

At a meeting in April, the board expressed concern over the proximity of the fueling tanks and pumps to an area of wetlands and an unnamed tributary of the Muddy Brook.

In the new plans, architects modified the site plan to allow for the pump locations to move slightly away from the wetlands. The pavement around the fleet fueling facility will be “warped” to ensure any stormwater runoff will flow into the company’s own management area and not into wetlands or tributaries, said project engineer Scott Homsted of Krebs & Lansing Consulting Engineers.

Members of the board seemed in favor of the changes and the efforts undertaken by Champlain Oil to design a site sensitive to wetlands issues. Members of the Conservation Commission, however, still expressed reservations about the project.

Senior Planner Matt Boulanger told the board the commission wanted to have the wetlands at the site professionally delineated again, and that Champlain Oil should enhance the buffer zone around the tributary and wetlands. Company spokesperson Paul Wamsganz said much of what the commission recommended could be enacted.

The proposed commercial complex for Champlain Oil would be located off Marshall Avenue near the entrance of Shunpike Road. According to plans, the site takes up two lots totaling a little more than eight acres.

Besides the fleet fueling facility, the site would feature a two-story office center, storage and maintenance buildings, according to plans. There would also be onsite parking for office workers and fueling truck storage.

Champlain Oil currently has a smaller fueling facility on Avenue C off Industrial Avenue for use by its trucks and other commercial trucking companies.

The fueling facilities allow Champlain Oil trucks to fill their gas tanks at wholesale costs. The company also allows other commercial operators to use the station for wholesale fuel, Wamsganz said at the April meeting.

Champlain Oil, which has been in business for more than 50 years, serves homes and businesses throughout Vermont and parts of New Hampshire and New York.