The owners of the Valero gas station at 1730 South FM 1417 in Sherman are planning to divide their convenience store in half to create a new liquor store at the location.

The Sherman Planning & Zoning Commission recently approved a site plan and specific use permit for Kashmir Singh and Sandeep Kaur, the owners of City Mart Convenience Store, to open a liquor store at their current location, which is between Park Avenue and Quail Run Road on FM 1417.

“Mr. Singh has a convenience store and gas station at this location, and he is going to divide the existing building up and have two separate entrances,” architect Rod Tatchio, who represented Singh before the commission, said. “And one entrance will become a liquor store.”

Singh did confirm to the commission that the liquor store will be operated as a separate business, with no interior access to the liquor store from the convenience store.

“I have one comment I’d like to bring up that we’ve discussed at other stores — the bright lights since there’s a major highway right there,” commission member Sean Vanderveer said. “I would like to propose a restriction that they can’t have bright lights at night or flashing lights or something to try to grab your attention because it’s distracting.”

Since Sherman voters decided to make all alcohol sales legal in the city limits during a local option election last November, the commission has seen numerous requests for liquor stores in the city and has routinely restricted bright lights in the front windows of such establishments. After commission chairman Clay Mahone asked whether the convenience store was in compliance with that restriction currently, Director of Development Services Scott Shadden said it was.

“This was the first building to upgrade to the 1417 Overlay (District) standards,” Shadden said, which seemed to alleviate Vanderveer’s concerns as he did not propose that restriction on the business when its specific use permit and site plan were ultimately approved.

No one from the public came forward to speak on the matter during the commission’s public hearing for the permit and site plan, though commission member Shawn Davis did inquire whether the addition of a new business would change the building’s parking requirements.

“It would be the same parking requirement and the same type usage,” Shadden said. “It’s still on one lot. If he were platting them into two lots, each lot would have to conform to separate parking requirements.”

The specific use permit and site plan were approved unanimously by the commission.