Improvements include a water-efficient car wash, updated store, additional parking
The City of Davis Planning Commission approved the remodel of the Shell gas station on Olive Drive on April 8. The remodel will include an updated store, additional parking spaces, new fuel pumps and a car wash.
“It will be a more updated, contemporary look. They’re adding landscaping and parking to upgrade the site to make it look a little better,” said Eric Lee, city planner for the City of Davis.
The next step will be the submission of a building permit, which would include further building details such as architectural drawings.
The Planning Commission is aware of the high traffic that the area sees, according to Lee. The gas station is at the corner adjacent to the In-n-Out drive-thru and restaurant, across the street from the Dutch Bros. drive-thru, the Richards Boulevard undercrossing and near the Interstate 80 freeway entrance.
“We don’t see this as making a big change to the area in part because there is an existing gas station, and they are not increasing the pumps … even the car wash, those kinds of things usually aren’t creating new trips,” Lee said.
Furthermore, the plans for the car wash that will be added to the station will be water-efficient according to current plans. It will recycle approximately 90 percent of the water they use, Lee said. He added that the car wash could actually help save water if people who wash their cars on their own visit the car wash in lieu of increasing their personal water usage.
“If we didn’t have car washes today, people would be washing their cars on their driveways. Do you know how much water would be wasted? In the car wash today we have a system to recycle the water. The water is recycled up to 90 percent, so you’re going to save water, not waste water,” said Muthana Ibrahim, the architect who designed the new Shell station.
As for solar panels, the original plans reported that it was not feasible to put solar panels on the structure. The city is having a solar energy provider evaluate the plans and the property to confirm this conclusion, according to Lee.
“We take into account a lot of factors [in the property’s design],” Ibrahim said. “The first one is improving the property. The property was built 30 years ago … We have to comply with the new laws, new codes, regulations and improve the property on the circulation side and we make the property more efficient.”
Ibrahim worked with the City of Davis for six months before the building plan was approved. Some of the changes made included those that needed to comply with zoning codes as well as the City Planning Commission’s goals to create more shade by adding trees to the site.
“Right now you have a gas station that is 30+ years old. Old technology not complying with code, not providing adequate access for disabled people — we’re going to replace that structure with a brand new gas station that complies with codes, provides access to disabled people, [and has] better circulation,” Ibrahim said.
Graphic by Jennifer Wu.