City approves revised site plan for Weigel’s store

Published 9:11 am Friday, April 5, 2024

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By Buzz Trexler

Star Correspondent

More than three years after it was first announced, a revised site plan for a Weigel’s convenience store and gas station to be located at the corner of North Roan Street and West Elk Avenue was approved by the Elizabethton Regional Planning Commission during Thursday night’s regular meeting.

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The Knoxville-based company’s plan, which was revised from one that was approved in 2021, encompasses a building footprint of 6,605 square feet with 50 parking spaces, two of which will be ADA spaces.


In recommending approval, city planners initially said there needed to be clarification regarding changes to the stormwater devices and requested that the sidewalk on North Roan Street be extended to the northern end of the property to comply with Elizabethton City Code. Planning Director Rich DesGroseilliers said Thursday night that both had been resolved.


According to its website, the Weigel family’s farming operation traces its roots to Carl Augustus Weigel, who emigrated from Saxony, Germany, and bought a 470-acre farm in Wartburg for $1,000 in 1847. Six years later, he sold that farm and bought a 600-acre tract near Forks of the River east of Knoxville. After Weigel’s death, his oldest son, Christian, took over the family farm.


In 1918, his sons, William Walter Weigel and Arthur Wallace Weigel, bought their own farm in Powell Station, which is now known as Powell. In 1931, William converted his portion of the farm into Broadacre Dairy; by 1951, the dairy had become a full-time operation with a herd numbering more than 400 cattle.


On Dec. 9, 1958, the first Weigel Farm Store opened at 2910 Sanderson Road in Knoxville. Over time, “Ellie the Cow” emerged in the Jug O’ Milk sign. The company website notes that milk cost 77 cents a gallon and the customer put down a 25-cent deposit for the initial “Jug O’ Milk.” The first “walk-in” Weigel’s Convenience Store opened in June 1964.


In 1970, “on a gamble,” the Weigel’s store on Emory Road in Knoxville added the chain’s first self-serve gasoline pumps. “These, as we all know now, turned out to be one of the best chance’s Weigel’s may have took,” the website says.


Melissa Clark, real estate specialist with Weigel’s, said there will be 16 gasoline pumps at the new store.


In 2019, Weigel’s opened Store 93 in Kingsport, which was then “the farthest store away from the original Broadacre Dairy,” calculated as a 110-mile, one-hour, 49-minute trip. When the Elk Avenue location opens in Elizabethton, it may hold that honor: a one-hour, 59-minute trip spanning 123.1 miles; however, Clark says the Bristol location may actually be further away from the original dairy.


The Planning Commission also approved:


— the replat of three lots encompassing 1.3877 acres and owned by Steven Bowers, Elizabethton, off Milligan Highway and Tulsa Drive, subject to approval of a septic system; and


— the subdividing of one 0.72-acre parcel owned by Kathy G. Current, Gastonia, N.C., into two parcels between Milligan Highway and Buffalo Creek Road.