New gas station faces fierce opposition in Naples

Posted at 10:23 PM, Jun 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-24 06:32:48-04

NAPLES, Fla -- The Collier County Commission chambers were packed to the rafters Thursday night as residents heard plans for a new Racetrac gas station in East Naples.

Attorneys and officials representing the Atlanta based company made their pitch before a hearing examiner. The 16 pump station and convenience store would be located at the corner of Tamiami Trail and Palm Street.

"The amount of traffic that something like this creates, is paramount, I mean it's unbelievable," said Vern Hammett.

Hammett is worried the gas station will add more traffic, which will spill over into the neighborhood behind the proposed site. Others are concerned the gas station will drive down property values, but attorneys for the company say there is no evidence of that.

"The two that most recently sold, I don't know how they couldn't know because there have been the little anti-Racetrac signs around the property," said Richard Yovanovich, who is representing the gas station.

Racetrac is asking the county for a waiver so that it may build within close proximity to another gas station, a 7-11 on the north side of Tamiami Trail.

Hammett says most people in the room have been fighting this gas station for two years, and won't give up easily.

"We're on the right side of this, no doubt about it."

Another public hearing on the gas station will take place next Thursday. The county commission will make the ultimate decision on whether to approve it.