(Update: added video, comments from Gaylord)
BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) – The City of Bend’s approval of a controversial gas station in Southeast Bend has been appealed by opposing neighbors to the City Appeal Board. state land use, but they are also trying other ways to keep the pumps out.
For nearly two years, a group of neighbors have been fighting the inclusion of the petrol station in the planned retail (convenience business) development of GP Energy / Colvin Oil at the Brosterhous and Murphy road roundabout, citing environmental and traffic issues and also arguing that it is not necessary, with several existing gas stations not far away.
Earlier this year, after a city hearings official approved the project, the haters took their case to Bend City Council. They voted 5-2 not to hear the neighbors’ appeal, as city staff noted that any decision by council would likely be appealed to LUBA anyway. They also pointed to the lack of time of a state-set 120-day deadline for any final local land use decisions (or the proponent developer could have sued the city).
In their 33-page LUBA petition (Word .doc linked below), four local residents appealed the city’s decision – which, if the enemies prevail, would not stop the project, but the would refer (refer) to the city for another adjudication process, to resolve the issues that the state appeals board has reported.
The petitioners list three “postings of error”. First, they question whether “appropriate” is a site-specific criteria for conditional uses and say the city approved the permits without addressing the issue.
They also claim that the “nearby shopping” zone is limited to small and medium-sized businesses that “meet the frequent shopping and service needs of nearby residents.” While gas stations (and drive-through restaurants are also part of the plans) are permitted as conditional uses, haters say the city erred ‘in concluding that ‘need’ is not a criterion or standard of approval” for such uses in CC areas.
Their third error mission states that “Colvin has not provided substantial evidence to prove that the negative impacts of the service station and drive-thru service on adjacent properties in terms of safety, noise, vibration, d exhaust and odor emissions could be mitigated, or that any condition of approval could sufficiently minimize these impacts to ensure that these uses could be compatible with surrounding public uses and facilities.
Susi Gaylord, one of the petitioners and Leader of the Opposition, told NewsChannel 21: “We have a few other things to try to work with the Andretti Group. Hope they listen.”
She noted that the Andretti Group is run by Michael Andretti – the son of Indy racing driver Mario – and is the holding company for GP Energy and Colvin Oil.
“We will directly appeal to Michael Andretti (and the values his name represents) to respect the 2,000+ residents who don’t want a gas station in their neighborhood,” Gaylord said.
“We are also talking with officials at the state level about our concerns,” she added, “and how our issue affects the state as well.”
Gaylord explained on Sunday: “We would love to work with the Andretti Group to find something that we are all happy with.”
But she added: “I’m not sure there’s really a (possible) trade-off in terms of a gas station. We’d like to have electric refills (stations instead) because we think that’s where Bend’s future lies. Oregon is a very environmentally conscious state, and we would like to uphold those values in our neighborhood.”