Letter: Dear 7-Eleven

GEORGE GARDNERLetter: Dear 7-Eleven

George Gardner
St Augustine, FL

Dear Editor:

Residents – and motorists – continue a battle opposing plans for a 7-Eleven store and gas station at the already congested May Street-San Marco Avenue intersection in St Augustine’s north city.

The voices of our community can make a difference. We proved it in battling former State Rep. Bill Proctor’s effort to give the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind eminent domain, threatening adjacent National Register Historic Districts.

Kathy Schirmacher of the St Augustine Uptown Neighborhood Association has compiled contact information for 7-Eleven, Department of Transportation, and city officials.

Contact as many as possible, but particularly 7-Eleven CEO Joseph De Pinto. City Manager John Regan says the corporate top is reading and listening.

Points to emphasize:
•Location doesn’t fit the 7-Eleven business model of open, easily accessible service.
•Congestion on these streets rate them a “D.”
•Zoning was designed in 1975 for corner stores and pedestrian-friendly businesses.
•Entrance Corridor guidelines were put in place to maintain a low impact, pleasant entry into our historic city.
•Historic neighborhoods, with a children’s park, carousel, a historic 1800s waterworks building, and nearby Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind.
•A petition with nearly 700 names of concerned citizens and motorists.

Dear Mr. De Pinto:

Mr. Joseph De Pinto, Chief Executive Officer
7-Eleven, Inc.
1722 Routh St., Suite 1000
Dallas, TX 75201

Dear Mr. De Pinto:

This is a plea from a former St Augustine mayor (2002-2006) to reconsider your plan for a 7-Eleven store and gas station at May Street and San Marco Avenue in the Nation’s Oldest City.

It doesn’t fit your business model, and the further chaos and risk it would create at a highly congested intersection in a historic neighborhood and entrance corridor to our small city is unacceptable.

You have heard and will hear in residents’ efforts to reach out to you the many reasons why this location can’t work for a modern 12-pump gas station on a lot zoned in 1975 for pedestrian-scale stores and business.

We try very hard as we approach the 450th anniversary of our city in 2015 to maintain its historic character.

I implore you to join our effort as a community-conscious corporation.

George Gardner

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