Garfield County hits accelerator on proposal to build gas station in West Rifle

The site plan for a future gas station in West Rifle.
City of Rifle

Plans to build a new gas station in West Rifle are beginning to unfold. 

Garfield County Commissioners last week unanimously waived a state rule requiring Rifle to submit an annexation impact report to the county. The annexation is over a proposal by Western Slope Recycling LLC to build a Maverik gas station and truck stop on 11.31 acres of what’s technically county land just south of Interstate 70 in West Rifle.

The Rifle Planning and Zoning Commission also unanimously approved annexing the parcel into municipal boundaries.

“I think it’s a great use for that property, it’s a great location, it’s something that Rifle’s sorely needed for awhile,” P/Z Chair Dustin Marantino said on Dec. 13. “I see a lot of opportunity.” 

Rifle Planning Director Patrick Waller said the city will serve water to the proposed location, which will also use an onsite wastewater treatment system.

“The history of why there’s a water line down there, there’s a lot of ground water contamination,” Waller said. “The EPA paid for us to extend our water line down into that area, which is why I think the city of Rifle is down there at all.”

Waller also said the site having its own wastewater treatment system is unique, since it’s going to be privately maintained rather than going through the city’s treatment center.

“This is sort of a specific parcel with a major corporation associated with it,” he said. “I think the risk is pretty darn limited.”

The parcel itself has never really been developed, Rifle Senior Planner Geir Sverdrup said. If built, the station will be accessed by the frontage road overseen by the Colorado Department of Transportation. It also falls just north of the Colorado River.

Main potential issues the planning and zoning commission addressed were the sizes of the station’s highway signs and whether there was space for semi-truck parking.

“There’s going to be parking there, and I don’t see parking there for what I would anticipate the use to be,” Marantino said. “That’s completely anecdotal and pretty subjective. I’ve been around long enough to see semis stacking up wherever they can be and a truck stop is going to be a beacon for them.”

The application is slated to be reviewed by Rifle City Council on Jan. 4.

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