Trustees ok new Citgo gas station on M-139

The former gas station at 1808 M-139 in Benton Township is expected to get a major makeover soon and become a Citgo station and convenience store.

BENTON TOWNSHIP — A new Citgo gas station and convenience store is on the works along M-139 in Benton Township.

At Tuesday’s board meeting, township trustees approved a special use permit for a four-pump gas station and 2,200-square-foot convenience store to be built at 1808 M-139.

The property is home to a former two-pump gas station, which Building Official Chris Fuchs said has been vacant for more than 15 years.

“We’ve been talking with the developer for about three or four months now,” Fuchs said after the board meeting.

The proposed site plan shows the current building, canopy and pumps being demolished and removed. Fuchs said the developer hopes to have building permits within six months, where the underground tanks will be taken care of first.

Fuchs said a year after that, the gas station will be close to opening.

“Because of how long there’s been nothing going on at that property, there’s a lot of excitement from the commission to get something there,” Fuchs said. The site is across from one of the entrances to Fairplain Plaza.

According to meeting minutes, the township’s planning commission unanimously approved the special use permit in a February meeting.

However, eight conditions were placed in concurrence with the commission’s vote, including:

• Storm plans must be reviewed and approved by the Berrien County Drain Commission.

• Pedestrian walkway along M-139 should be considered for addition to the site plan in accordance with the township’s sidewalk ordinance.

• The access to M-139 is to be completed with MDOT permits.

• Spill containment plans should be submitted as a part of the construction plans.

• Tanks must comply with Environment, Great Lakes and Energy Department (EGLE) permits.

• A traffic flow engineering study will determine turn radius for fuel truck and traffic in access and flow through the site.

• With notice to neighbors, the department’s concern for traffic using the neighboring parking lot to park next to the proposed building may be subject to some sort of formal agreement between the owners.

• The special use permit must be implemented within one year.

Trustees also approved a special use permit for the Sparkle Car Center at 2080 M-139 to add three storage buildings to the property.

Fuchs said the proposed building would not be used for vehicles, but self storage.

Supervisor Kevin White and Trustee Carolyn Fowler were absent at Tuesday’s meeting.

The next board meeting is at 5:30 p.m. Sept. 3 at Benton Township Hall.

Contact:, 932-0358, Twitter: @TonyWittkowski