QuikTrip wants to build a store in Government Hill, and some residents in the historic neighborhood aren't having it.
While the Oklahoma-based convenience store chain has plopped down numerous Alamo City outlets since opening its first here in 2018, it hasn't ventured too deep into the East Side. Now, the company wants to open a convenience store with eight gas pumps and five underground tanks at the intersection of North Walters Street and the Interstate 35 access road.
But some residents oppose the proposal
. Two acres of residential property would need to be rezoned to commercial use so QuikTrip can set up shop. That means existing homes on that land would need to be demolished and residents relocated.
Understandably, some in the neighborhood aren't fond of the idea.
D'Ette Cole, who lives north of the proposed site, said the development would get rid of nine bungalows that offer affordable housing.
"It's a disruption of the neighborhood," she told the Rivard Report
If QuikTrip gets its way, Cole and her husband Steve Versteeg would be living behind the gas station, something else they don't want. Additionally, residents argue that a convenience store would lower property values and bring crime to the area.
"We're not saying that QuikTrip is evil or anything," Versteeg told the online news outlet. "This is just the wrong place [for a gas station]."
Other residents are concerned about the proposed site's proximity to Pershing Elementary School
and how pedestrians coming from the school already must deal with traffic near the highway and Fort Sam Houston.
Councilwoman Jada Andrews-Sullivan, whose district includes the store, is undecided at this time
. She said she's met with both QuikTrip and community members but isn't yet ready to take a stance on the zoning request.
If the request is approved, QuikTrip and Sara Martinez, who owns the properties that would be demolished, are prepared to help residents find new homes
. The pair would also offer financial assistance and access to real estate agents. The residents are reportedly on month-to-month leases.
The Zoning Commission will hear the request January 21, and the Planning Commission on January 22. After the hearings, the groups will make recommendations to city council, which will make its decision February 6.
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