Credit: Photo by Dan Schere

The Gaithersburg City Council on Monday unanimously approved plans to build a Royal Farms gas station and convenience store.

The gas station will include a 4,649-square-foot retail building, along with a 1,248 square-foot car wash and 10 double-sided pump stations.

The gas station will be at the corner of Spectrum Boulevard and Watkins Mill Road, near the future interchange between Interstate 270 and Watkins Mill Road.

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Construction on the interchange is scheduled to be completed by this fall, according to the Maryland State Highway Administration’s website.

Royal Farms, a chain of gas stations and convenience stores throughout the mid-Atlantic region, is known for its fried chicken, sandwiches and breakfast foods. The Gaithersburg location will be the first in Montgomery County.

Adjacent to the Royal Farms will be a mixed-use development that includes a 2,500-square-foot Starbucks coffee shop and a drive-through.

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The City Council first discussed the proposal for adding the gas station at its Oct. 21 meeting. Council members were generally supportive, but expressed a few concerns about aesthetics and traffic.

The city’s planning commission approved a schematic development plan application last month. Among the conditions were that the applicant submit a revised forest conservation plan and coordinate with county officials on relocating a store drain connection to the site of the future 6th District police station, which is scheduled to be finished in 2025.

Council member Mike Sesma said during Monday’s meeting that he was pleased with the site plan, but still has some fears about backups because there will only be one entrance. He also said he isn’t sure if the plan adequately addresses some needs of the police station.

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“Sometimes cars have to move at high speed out of the police station, so I think there’s a potential danger there,” he said.

Council member Ryan Spiegel acknowledged that no traffic plan would ever be “100% perfect,” but that is “no reason to stop the progress.”

Dan Schere can be reached at Daniel.schere@bethesdamagazine.com

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