Residents create website to oppose gas station on Lennoxville Road

A blueprint shows the proposed site plan for a Jim Dandy convenience store and gas station on Lennoxville Road in Beaufort. (Contributed graphic)

BEAUFORT — Some Beaufort residents are voicing opposition to a proposed gas station on Lennoxville Road, including through creation of a new website.

The town planning board is scheduled to hold a public hearing at its regular meeting Monday, July 19 on an application for a special-use permit for the lot at 1550 Lennoxville Road. Jim Dandy Stores is proposing to put a gas station and convenience store on the lot, which is currently the site of Austin Veterinary Animal Hospital.

However, several residents in the neighborhood don’t think a gas station is appropriate for the site.

Beaufort resident Kay Carter said in an email Thursday to the News-Times said there is a “growing opposition to the special-use permit request.”

“The families who oppose the station are circulating petitions, writing letters and have created a very informative website,” Ms. Carter said. “Of particular concern is the planning board’s reversal on holding an in-person meeting to allow public input. (Beaufort planning and inspections director) Kyle Garner has decided to hold a Zoom meeting instead, which is grossly unfair to the interested parties who want to voice their concerns in a public forum.”

Mr. Garner, in an interview Thursday with the News-Times, said while he’s sorry if some people feel the online meeting format is unfair, “we’ve been using this platform (Zoom) for over a year and a half now.”

Mr. Garner added the town board of commissioners will discuss the format of municipal meetings – namely whether to continue with online meetings, go back to in-person meetings or have a hybrid of both formats – at its work session Monday, July 26.

Residents also have the option to email their comments. Contact information for the Beaufort planning and inspections staff is available on the website beaufortnc.org/planninginspections/page/planning-staff.

“Any comments they (residents) have sent by email will make it to the planning board,” Mr. Garner said. As of Thursday, Mr. Garner had received more than 100 emails with comments regarding the special-use permit application. Some residents have sent more than one email.

“We’re putting out an information letter, as well as our (July 19 meeting) agenda packet, which will include every email we’ve received,” Mr. Garner said.

The town planning board was originally scheduled to hold a public hearing on the special-use permit for the proposed gas station during its meeting in June, but tabled the matter at the request of Mr. Garner. Despite the move, some residents spoke during the public comment period of the June meeting to share their initial thoughts.

Meanwhile, the website Ms. Carter referred to is nojimdandylennoxville.org. According to the website, its creators recognize the need for an additional gas station in Beaufort but think the location on Lennoxville Road under consideration would negatively affect the residential neighborhood there.

“There are other areas in Beaufort that are more appropriate and safer for this type of business,” the website says.

The key issues of concern cited on the website include:

·     Increased traffic.

·     Potential environmental effects.

·     Noise and light pollution.

·     The potential for crime.

·     Health and safety concerns.

·     Fire risks.

·     Uncertainty of how the property will be used in the future.

·     A lack of compatibility with the town’s land-use plan and the character of the town.

The website also includes links to join a mailing list to follow the matter and to generate an email to town officials opposing the special-use permit.

News-Times staff reached out Thursday to Jim Dandy Stores and Davis Fuels president Jim Davis III for comment. Mr. Davis requested to meet in-person with News-Times staff at a later date to discuss the project.

 

Contact Mike Shutak at 252-723-7353, email mike@thenewstimes.com; or follow on Twitter at @mikesccnt.

(17) comments

quicksand

Uh, why is Zoom continuing to be used when we can meet in person?

mpjeep

Excellent point, quick!

ReallyConcerned

This property was a gas station years ago before yall moved here and claimed it as your own. Quit complaining about the Speedway being out of gas all the time and a lack of competition if you block this. SMH

BChappy

Obvious ! to just limit the public input.

David Collins

Fear of actually having to stand up and defend your position in person . Same thing as using screen names . Mice that roar .

Speakeasy

Do the residents complaining remember what was there before Austin Vet? You got it, a Jim Dandy.

Beacon

We use to have Menhaden factories here but would we want another one today? So it is a weak argument to say there use to be a filling station there. A better argument is would you want a filling station next to your house?

Cpa81

While reading this article, I was very amused. Especially when it got to the "concerns" bullets. As someone who has grown up and continues to live on Lennoxville, I find it extremely funny. That property was originally a gas station. It was there for over 20 years. If people were so concerned about the increased traffic , where were their complains when The Boathouse, 34° North, The Beaufort Hotel, Beau Coast, etc. were built on Lennoxville? I believe that a gas station, properly maintained, would be an excellent idea on Lennoxville. It would bring more revenue to this town. It would also be beneficial to those who live here. There is only ONE gas station in Beaufort and it is constantly running out of gas. As a PERMANENT resident I believe it should be approved. When Hurricane Florence came through there was no gas to be found in Beaufort. Many people were lined up at The Boathouse to get gas. I normally don't say much about what is happening to our beautiful, quiet town but this is ridiculous. Put another gas station here. Lennoxville is the BEST place to put it with all of the development going on.

beachmami13

[thumbup][thumbup][thumbup][thumbup][thumbup]

David Collins

If your house is in or adjacent to a commercially zoned property what choice do you have ? At least you won’t have far to walk for your morning coffee , Red Bull or perhaps a part time job . Possibilities are endless .

CaptainParker

The previous gas station was an eyesore and most people I know were glad to see it go in 2008. Austen Vet is a well-maintained, low impact commercial property. The current plans and the special use permit request for another gas station is fraught with problems for the many homes surrounding the site.

The prospective developer, unfortunately, is one with a record of run-down stations, and a past history of gas storage and equipment violations. It would seem a two-seat outhouse would be a management challenge for them. That said, there are now 50 homes within 300 feet of the prospective underground gas tanks and refueling operations, and there are extreme safety and environmental concerns to the neighboring residents.

Plain and simple, The developer should find a site more suitable to his business. What’s next door to your house?

NeroFiddles4PhotoOps

There is nothing low impact about Austin Vet. On any given afternoon, the lot is full or overflowing onto the grass, obstructing the view of oncoming traffic from the stop sign at the corner of Ocean and Lennoxville. A properly design parking lot for the proposed gas station would be a significant improvement over the current use.

Jpenny

Next door to the house I grew up in was Atlantic Vaneer. Which brought rats and all kinds of other vermin.

ilovecarteret

The retail location will only serve people that live or have business in the area. The traffic is already there. I applaud the people at Jim Dandy for for investing their capital to provide residents a needed convenient service. I would assume the store could be accessed by golf carts reducing the need for residents to get in their car to go to the store for a quick pick up.

With the number of boat owners in the area, having access to boat gas will provide another option for fuel.

David Collins

If the town picks a turkey to put up a convenience store than the onus is on them . But then , with their history of smart decisions better lawyer up . They do not care if they can not see it from their house .

BChappy

While the Jim Dandy is the organization that wants to benefit and be a community asset, they appear to be the only gas/ convenience store that is interested in this site. While as many as 4 failed stations have been in Beaufort, it appears to me that, while agreeing a new station would be best for Beaufort, the Lennoxville location will not serve but a small portion of Beaufort. This too will be a failed effort. I feel bad for Jim Davis. [unsure]

the secret life of man

Old cliche,Follow the money,then lawyer up.County and town commissioners have excellent attorneys to protect them FROM YOU THE TAXPAYERS, THAT YOU PAY FOR WITH YOUR TAXES.

Welcome to the discussion.

As a privately owned web site, we reserve the right to edit or remove comments that contain spam, advertising, vulgarity, threats of violence, racism, anti-Semitism, or personal/abusive/condescending attacks on other users or goading them. The same applies to trolling, the use of multiple aliases, or just generally being a jerk. Enforcement of this policy is at the sole discretion of the site administrators and repeat offenders may be blocked or permanently banned without warning.