Citgo station gets zoning variance to expand

1960s-era station store on West Jefferson Street would triple in size

The prospective owner of a Citgo gas station on Jefferson Street plans to triple the size of the station store for more retail, including possibly liquor and video gambling.

The Joliet Zoning Board of Appeals this month granted a series of zoning variations to make the expansion possible for the 1960s-era station at 1160 W. Jefferson St.

Zoning board member Vincent Alessio noted that it can be difficult to make updates at some Jefferson Street business locations because of the size of the properties.

“Some of these lots are not suitable for modern-day businesses,” Alessio said before joining fellow members in a 6-0 vote allowing the variations.

The variations allow for no landscape buffers on Jefferson Street and on the south side of the site that abuts a residential property on July 15. The landscape buffer on O’Neil Street would be reduced from 10 feet to three feet.

The rear building setback would be reduced from 25 feet to seven feet.

The variations would allow the new owner to increase the station store from its present size of 433 square feet to 1,422 square feet.

The entire size of the property is 11,500 square feet, and there are six gas pumps on site.

“I am a little nervous that it will be so big on such a small lot, but it’s good to see business expanding,” board member Brigette Roehr said at the zoning meeting.

The staff report on the proposal notes that the prospective owner wants to offer more retail options and has future plans to sell packaged liquor and possibly offer video gambling.

There was no application for liquor or gambling pending before the liquor commission at the time of the zoning board vote.

Joliet in June created a liquor license for packaged liquor and video gambling at gas stations. Two have been issued and one denied, while five are reportedly pending.

Bob Okon

Bob Okon

Bob Okon covers local government for The Herald-News