As expected, on Saturday morning about 50 residents gathered in a corner of the district to protest against the proposed building in the northeast of Lacey.
Residents, all of whom live in nearby neighborhoods, carried plaques and rang bells in opposition to Meridian Market and Gas, a gas pump store that was offered on the corner of the Glen Drive and Willamette Drive campuses. This place is opposite Meridian Neighborhood Park.
No one spoke in support of the proposal.
Christine Paget said she is concerned about the increase in traffic in the park and the students traveling to Salish High School and back. She said the area does not need another gas station – there are many in the area – and believes the building could be attractive for undesirable behaviors such as drug use.
“We don’t need our children to be at risk of unwanted actions in our area,” Paget said.
Maureen Bard shared some concerns about the environment, noting the increase in stormwater runoff in the area and how this runoff forms ponds in areas where it does not normally occur. Cover the area with more impenetrable surfaces, and there will definitely be more drains, she said.
Ron Germo, president of the Meridian Campus Homeowners Association, said he has big concerns about a gas station that runs opposite the park and near the school.
“The main thing is that this is an unusual place for refueling in the middle of a residential area,” he said. “There are a lot of gas stations to serve this community.”
If the offer was just a store, the community might be interested, he said. Instead, it is a proposed gas station next to wetlands, a school and heavy pedestrian traffic.
“It just doesn’t make sense to us,” Germain said.
According to the city, the building was proposed by a group called Northwest Investors LLC of the Federal Way. The story of the offer does not say about the need for fuel, but it applies to the store.
“Having lived in Thurston County for the past 38 years, we have experienced frustration and difficulty crossing the I-5 Bridge to the grocery store,” the story said. “This is the main reason we want to serve the Meridian Campus community. We are locals and want to give back to our community in an effort to facilitate access and efficiency for homeowners in the area. ”
Rebecca Wilcox said she would support the proposal if it were a small restaurant, a farmers market, or something like Spud’s, a popular district market with locations in Olympia and Tamwater.
But the district does not need a gas station that will attract more traffic and freight from the highway, she said.
“I don’t think we need to add more gas stations if we’re trying to get away from fossil fuels,” added resident Jeff Browning, who not only lives nearby but also regularly collects garbage during walks.
“There are many reasons to say ‘no,'” Brown said, hoping Lacey’s city council would listen.
Justin Nelson attended the meeting with his children. His biggest concern is that his children are getting on a school bus near the playground.
“The increase in traffic generated by gas stations is of concern to our parents,” he said.
Like Germain, Emily Ingersoll believes it’s an amazing place to refuel.
“We need more things in this area that support our children and the growth of our community,” she said.
Senior Planner Lacey Samra Seymour said last week that the proposal should be submitted to an expert on Lacey’s hearing in early April.