Salisbury Township approved zoning requests from Rutter’s that would allow for a convenience store with gambling machines in Gap during a meeting Tuesday night.
Township zoning hearing board members Peter Horvath and Larry Martin voted in favor of the special exceptions with several conditions tacked on to limit several uses.
The convenience store chain has already submitted a land development plan to the township and is awaiting consideration from the planning commission.
Rutter’s is seeking to build a 10,257-square-foot convenience store and gas station at routes 30 and 772 in Gap along with special permissions to house video gaming terminals, the slot-like machines legalized for certain truck stop establishments as part of an expanded statewide gambling law in 2017.
The property where Rutter’s plans to build lies within the township’s general commercial district.
Tavern at risk
Opponents of the planned store have said bringing another convenience store to the village would further diminish rich historical markers in Gap.
The two addresses in Rutter’s proposal — 5261 and 5267 Lincoln Highway — contain several structures deemed historically significant by the Salisbury Township Historical Society.
Among them is the former Bellevue home built in 1817 by a prominent family in the early history of Gap, according to the historical society. The home included a barn and tobacco shed and was dismantled last year. Stones, windows and a staircase from the home were transported to Stone Gables Estate — home of the Star Barn — in Elizabethtown for preservation as part of a new structure.
Another building, built in the 1790s near the farm, housed the former Rising Sun Tavern, according to the historical society.
Conditions added by the board include a requirement for Rutter’s to obtain all permits and approvals before beginning demolition at the Rising Sun Tavern property, as well as limiting the hours for gambling machine operations from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.
While Rutter’s has not obtained a liquor license for the location, the board also required any potential alcohol sales for consumption within the convenience store be limited to 25 ounces, as well as signs to prohibit loitering.
Leona Baker, programming director for the historical society, thanked the board for its conditions to prohibit demolition pending all approvals.
“That I consider that to be a win,” she said after the vote.
“I don’t know that we can actually save the tavern, but we want ... to find some way to at least get something that’s a positive ending to this.”