For the Gate Open House, we have prepared some questions Atlantic Beach Citizens may want to ask at Tuesday's meeting. These are just a few of many concerns.
Gate Open House
Atlantic Beach Citizens Suggested Questions
- How will Gate assure the neighborhood that citizens will be safe with the addition of so many cars pulling into the area? What will be done for pedestrian safety? Your invitation shows people walking on Sturdivant Avenue in the street. How is that safe?
- The original Gate plans indicated that a variance would needed because the depth of the lot is not sufficient for adequate pedestrian safety. Yet the plans that have been submitted do not request such a variance. How did Gate decide that this extra depth was no longer needed for pedestrian safety?
- What traffic studies has Gate done regarding Atlantic Blvd and Sturdivant Avenue and the addition of more traffic on these roads?
- Sturdivant Avenue is a narrow community street used by bicyclist, skateboarders, and children and adults on foot as a path to the beach and the Town Center. Does Gate intend to use this street for delivery trucks, oil tankers and 18- wheelers? How will Gate insure safety for our citizens?
- A 2014 FDOT Trip Generation study of our traffic stated that there could easily be as many as 2700 cars visiting this proposed Gate station/convenience store. Half that number would stress our already congested streets. What plans does Gate have to mitigate this devastating effect to our neighborhood?
Large 5,200 sq. ft. Retention Pond
- The Salt Air neighborhood has been flooded frequently in the last year. The proposed Gate station will generate high traffic volume and refueling residue left behind. This will be stored in the large retention pond. However, given the frequency and large volumes of water, there is a strong likely hood that gas contaminated water will run into our water systems. Does Gate have a better plan that an open retention plan so close to a typically flooded area? What are Gate’s concerns on the harm to our community?
- How has Gate minimized these hazards in other neighborhoods? Is there a possibility of underground retention ponds?
- Convenience store employees are second only to taxi drivers for being subject to robberies and homicides. What measures will Gate take to insure the safety of their employees and our citizens?
- A 24/7 facility is a beacon to transients and the homeless. What programs does Gate have in place to protect our neighborhood from such dubious characters? Almost all Atlantic Beach businesses are closed by 10 pm. Why can’t Gate abide by these reasonable limits?
- The sale of beer and wine invites late night traffic – which invites disruptive behavior and crime. How does Gate plan to secure the neighborhood against potential inclease in crime and loitering?
- Between HVAC units running 24x7, backup beepers, loud car stereos, and customers shouting across the gas bays, convenience stores can be extremely noisy. Add the sound of vacuums and the noise worsens. Make it an all-night establishment and you have a use which definitely does not belong near homes. What does Gate plan to minimize these sound and light problems?
- Lighting is essential to convenience store safety and profitability. People are less likely to patronize a poorly lit store while criminals find this inviting. But too much lighting and area residents will suffer glare in their bedrooms and/or lose their view of the nighttime sky. What plans does Gate have to minimize the light glare near homes?
- Local realtors have advised homeowners that property values will decrease by as much as 20%. There is a concern that the SaltAir neighborhood could become a low rent area as homeowners will not want to remain in the area close to a mega gas station. Why does Gate insist on locating next to a neighborhood when 95% of all their stores are in typical highway nonresidential areas?
Threat to Local Businesses
- Atlantic Beach prides it’s self on the small business market. A Gate mega convenience store will destroy existing businesses in the area. Those businesses include: Ohana’s Hawaiian Shaved Ice, A&J’s Old Fashioned Ice Cream, Davinci’s Pizza, SLFood Mart, King Food convenience store and Beach Diner.
- Also, Gate has consistently insisted on limiting the Beach Diner to 19 parking spaces, which would essentially put them out of business.
- Gate prides itself in being “neighbor” friendly. Knowing that building such a mega station in a small town, how does Gate explain aggressively pursuing such a large station that will affect the uniqueness of the city?
Character of the Community
- Atlantic Beach is a beautiful and quiet seaside community. Gate’s mega station will be just 3 blocks from the ocean and close our Town Center. Gate’s invitation states: “Helping To Improve Atlantic Beach”.
- How does Gate, knowing that thousands of residents oppose this mega station, see that they are improving our city in any way? In what way is Gate being a “good neighbor”?