Carlsborg gas station draws concern from school board

Sequim School District’s board of directors are looking at potential impacts of the new ARCO gas station being built on Carlsborg Road in close proximity to Greywolf Elementary School.

Board directors and Sequim schools superintendent Gary Neal expressed several concerns regarding traffic flow, a shared county road near the school and gas station and a lack of communication about the developing site at a Feb. 5 board meeting.

The ARCO and a 3,100-square-foot convenience store are set to be finished by the end of May or beginning of June, according to officials of Sabyr Contractors Inc., the gas station’s primary contractor.

Sabyr Contractor officials said it broke ground on the project in early December for its client, BP P.L.C.

Board president Brian Kuh said he’s received concerns from the Greywolf Elementary School’s Parent Teacher Organization revolving around the possibility of the gas station’s convenient store offering beer and alcohol so close to the elementary school.

“The major concerns from the Greywolf PTO has been proximity to the school,” Kuh said.

He said the PTO group has also voiced concerns about whether or not there will be a commenting period if the convenient store applies for a license to sell beer and alcohol.

“One question that came up (from the PTO), was, ‘Did we receive notice?’” Kuh asked Neal at the meeting. “It doesn’t look like it.”

Director Robin Henrikson noted at the meeting that to her knowledge the developer can build a gas station and convenience store but it has to have a liquor license to sell beer and alcohol.

“Once they apply for it then the school is notified, so the school isn’t necessarily notified until they actually apply for the license,” she said.

“They might not have applied to the license and once they do then the school will be notified.”

Henrikson said once the developer applies for a liquor license the district should be notified and there is a 20-day period where the public can submit comments or concerns to the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board.

Neal also voiced concerns about traffic flow and a shared use of a county road the district has an easement to that runs parallel to US Highway 101 to Carlsborg Road.

“By the time (the district) got on board (the contractors) started breaking ground,” Neal said. “The concern that I have is the ingress and egress that’s going to be on that county road that S’s off of Carlsborg.”

“We have an easement to that (county) road, so we don’t have the whole thing. We’ve got buses coming and using that same road … (so) we’re going to have to share that road with whoever wants to come in and out.”

Board directors asked Neal if there was an option to block off part of the shared county road as a possible solution and voted to designate director Brandino Gibson as a spokesperson to bring concerns to Clallam County commissioners at their next meeting.

County response

Officials from Clallam County Department of Community Development said the ARCO is an allowed use in that zone, so neighbors are not notified about incoming construction; however, officials said, a state environmental review was required for the site and nearby neighbors were notified.

Officials also noted there is an ingress and egress to the gas station from Carlsborg Road and a deceleration lane to turn into the gas station on US Highway 101 similar to other businesses east of the gas station on the highway.

There is no direct access to US Highway 101 from the gas station, officials said, and the developer would have to work with the Washington State Department of Transportation to potentially develop it as an exit onto the highway.

Officials noted the developers also own two lots west of the gas station.

Liquor license rules

Officials from the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board said liquor cannot be sold within 500 feet of a school.

Parties, such as the school district, can object to a liquor license within 20 days of it being under review by the Board. If the license is not objected to it will be allowed, officials said.

Applications for a liquor license are on the Board’s website under new applications, and as of Feb. 12 no applications for the gas station’s convenient store on Carlsborg are listed.

Other board business

Board directors also approved a letter of agreement that augments the current collective bargaining agreement language which has been ratified by the Public School Employees of Sequim.

The board also tabled making a decision on a new salary schedule for unrepresented employees until the board’s next regular meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 19.

Kuh said he received a letter from district staff regarding concerns over the new salary schedule and motioned to table any decisions until the rest of the board had the chance to read the letter as well.

“I haven’t had time to address or look into these concerns, or the opportunity to ask questions,” Kuh said.

Some of the concerns regarding the nonrepresented salary schedule arise from confusion on which district positions should be included in the nonrepresented group, and some positions that may have been added or pulled out of that group that were not in previous years.

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