Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Not All Happy about Massive Buc-Ees; St. Johns Residents Start Petition, Fear Store Traffic Will Clog Streets

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Not All Happy about Massive Buc-Ees; St. Johns Residents Start Petition, Fear Store Traffic Will Clog Streets

Article excerpt

Byline: Stuart Korfhage

A proposed massive gas station/convenience store in the World Golf Village area might be an oasis for travelers on Interstate 95, but some of its would-be neighbors aren't quite as enthusiastic about the plan.

Shortly after the Texas-based convenience store chain Buc-ee's filed a preapplication with St. Johns County, some members of the community expressed negative opinions about the 120-pump gas station and store on 13.71 vacant acres at the southwest quadrant of the International Golf Parkway and I-95.

Among the critics is Sevilla resident Aaron Enos. He created an online petition that is rallying people against the new store. It had nearly 1,500 supporters as of Tuesday afternoon.

Enos, who is a small business owner, said he isn't against growth or development. He said the scale of Buc-ee's is just too large for the area.

"I think that everybody knows that it's going to be developed, but we want the right kind of development there," Enos said. "This is something that belongs in Daytona or Orlando but not here. I don't think something like that belongs at that location."

Enos and others are worried about an increase in traffic around the I-95 interchanges, which may result in congestion and safety issues.

He wonders why residents should have to deal with more traffic around the interstate to accommodate a business that caters to travelers who are just going to stop on their way to somewhere else and not aid the local economy much.

"There's no real benefit to the World Golf Village community," Enos said.

Karen Lea, who lives in The Cascades, said she emailed the county commissioners about the gas station on Monday.

She was among those who signed the online petition because she doesn't see how a huge gas station is going to enhance the beauty or livability of the area. And she added that the current number of gas stations in the area - three - seems sufficient. …

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