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Buckhead neighborhoods fight QuikTrip move-in
by Caroline Young
November 30, 2012 02:41 PM | 2911 views | 0 0 comments | 22 22 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Last summer, two west Buckhead neighborhoods futilely attempted to fight the arrival of an Advance Auto Parts store on Howell Mill Road.

Now, there are plans in the works for a new QuikTrip gas station to come in at the intersection of Howell Mill Road and Chattahoochee and Defoor avenues.

Wyatt Gordon, president of the Underwood Hills Neighborhood Association, said his neighbors and those in the Berkeley Park neighborhood are now trying to stop the QuikTrip for several reasons, all which involve location.

“We’re going to push the issue with the city and also with [its] Department of Planning, and even go directly to the Beltline organization,” Gordon said. “There are already two gas stations within half a mile and another one is going in on Chattahoochee within two or three months.”

But Gordon said he has nothing against QuikTrip personally.

“Of all gas station and convenience store combos, they’re the cleanest and [most] well-kept. The company has good values,” Gordon said. “But at that particular location, we’ve seen traffic continue to get worse and worse. Howell Mill will be gridlocked throughout the day. …They’d have about 1,500 cars per day going through their location.”

Gordon, who said he lives 150 feet from the proposed location, said the added volume created by the gas station would cause drivers to cut across lanes of traffic and emergency vehicles to have delayed response times.

“Beyond that, from my property, I can see the location. … Myself and adjacent neighbors already get light pollution and noise pollution from Howell Mill,” he said. “All of that is just going to continue to carry over into neighborhoods.”

According to Gordon, QuikTrip Real Estate Project Manager Patrick Conner came to present the site plan at the Underwood Hills Neighborhood Association’s meeting Nov. 12.

“From our initial meeting with the neighborhood association, we both agree on one major point, and that is that a solution to mitigate the existing traffic situation is warranted,” Mike Thornbrugh, QuikTrip’s manager of public and government affairs, said in an email. “We will continue to work with the city and others to address not only this situation but other scenarios that may arise.”

Earlier, the Tulsa, Okla.-based company presented the plan to the Neighborhood Planning Unit D committee Sept. 25, at the request of District 9 Atlanta City Councilwoman Felicia Moore.

“The property is in the Beltline overlay [district], so QT was basically trying to get an approval,” Gordon said. “Consequently, they were outwardly working on changing variances. … The overwhelming comments and questions were negative and not in favor of developing at that site.”

Although Gordon said QuikTrip is already paying monthly lease payments and are in an “inspection period” now, Thornbrugh said. “Our plans are very early in the process.”

“Although the location of this proposed QuikTrip is clearly zoned for this type of business, we recognize that it will require a lot of work, potential changes and continued meetings,” Thornbrugh said.

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