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Proposed SE Bend gas station sparks neighborhood controversy, petition drive

(Update: Adding video, comments)

Foes say there's enough gas stations on nearby Third Street

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- "For Sale" signs are hard to miss in the empty lot across from the Brosterhous and Murphy roads roundabout in Southeast Bend. The land has already been bought by developer GP Energy, which has plans to build a gas station and two drive-thru restaurants.

The property is zoned for some commercial use, but the company will need a conditional use permit from the city to build a gas station.

But -- for-sale signs aren't the only signs in the area. Others say "no gas pumps" and urge residents to fight the plans.

In an effort to block the gas station plans, nearby neighbors have started an online petition and already have nearly 1,000 signatures.

Sara Moss, who lives next to the property and started the petition, said Friday she'd like to see the area be used to connect the community.

"We feel that if a gas station goes here, it'll be a real loss of opportunity for the neighborhoods," Moss said.

Moss says she'd be fine if the area had a small business or a few food trucks. However, the idea of a gas station being built there would bring too much traffic and safety concerns, in her view.

"There are many gas stations on Third (Street). There are also gas stations on Reed Market (Road)," Moss said. "So whenever you're coming to southeast Bend or leaving southeast Bend, you're passing gas stations -- so we really don't need a gas station here."

"And I for one would never use it," she added.

 Others feel differently.

"It'll be convenient when I'm heading to work and about out of gas," said Joe Emick, a contractor who just started building his own home in a nearby neighborhood.

Emick says he's owned the land for three years, and that plans for a gas station have not changed his mind about building in that location.

"I think it's somebody's business, and I'm a small businessman. And I'd never get in somebody's way of trying to feed their family," Emick said.

Moss says if the developer moves forward with a gas station, the group will take legal action.

NewsChannel 21 reached out to GP Energy and did not hear back.

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Carly Keenan

Carly Keenan is a multimedia journalist and producer for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Carly here.

Comments

29 Comments

          1. I think it’s a great idea I want to RE Jewel school over 30 yes ago and my kids as well .. why not it’s a great location if . And it’s not up to anyone else but the people that that bought it if you wanted something to go there you should have bought it

  1. I think it would be good for that side of town. Imagine being able to fuel up, get your smokes, have a bite and a beer without having to drive all the way down Murphy! This is exciting!

  2. Typical Bend attitude.” Like a Artisan Cafe or farm to table market would be fine, but not a gas station.” This lady needs to get a permit to build a bridge and get over it.

  3. It’s says commercial zoned…. When did SE Bend become a exclusive neighborhood with planned community experience.
    SE Bend is was what’s was left in regards to cheeper building sites. The homeowners are for the most part new to the community and didn’t have any past experiences in what SE bend was and has been.
    Sorry but it’s a lower priced, lower income level housing neighborhood based on demand from a boom town expansion.
    I will be there to support a new gas station and free market principals

  4. In some ways, this discussion mirrors the debate about discrimination in big cities towards the poor. Freeways were built that destroyed neighborhoods, environmentally questionable businesses cluster in poor neighborhoods. Maybe middle class neighborhoods should house businesses that are not so attractive. Nobody can argue that a gas station is an attractive addition to the neighborhood, but guaranteed that the locals complaining about it now will be future patrons.

  5. Just wait till the 700 new homes are built on Country Club. If the new gas station is not built, the first to complain about the long lines at the closest gas stations on Murphy and 3rd will be all those who opposed building of the new gas station.

  6. 25 years from now it will be an electric vehicle charging station. Or something else entirely. Change happens whether we like it or not. Sometimes for the better and sometimes not. We humans survived by either adapting to our environment, moving on to somewhere more suitable or trying to change what bothers us. The residents in the area have chosen the last option. It is a losing battle, especially in Bend, but good luck to them.

  7. God you bend people sure do like to complain. Everyday it’s something new, whine about the homeless, whine about the traffic, whine about your neighbors, now it’s a gas station. You people all moved there from California and the valley what did you expect a nice quiet little community like Culver or terrebonne? My god you live in a pretty good sized city now that you all have congregated there since the 80’s and now all you can do is complain. I have a good idea since you don’t want it growing anymore pack your family’s up and leave. I’m pretty sure all of central Oregon would thank you

  8. Let me get this straight, No gas station but two drive thru, I am assuming fast food maybe, restaurants are OK? You have to be kidding me. I can get my fast food fix and protect the environment too?? Oh you people are hilarious!! I swear, who need to go to a comedy club when we have you!!

    1. Actually, no. Neither the gas station or the drive thru fast food restaurants are okay, for multiple reasons. Any car-centric businesses in the middle of neighborhoods are of concern, which is why CC zoning in Bend has car-centric businesses requiring special permits. The proximity to homes and schools is no place for a gas station or fast food, especially when both are readily available a mile and a half away on 3rd.

        1. Exactly. There are so many things that could go into that space that would support the community (and the building of community). Places where community members could walk or ride to, meet up, get to know each other. Food carts, a day care,cafe- small, locally owned businesses that support community and community members. Any car-centric business will increase traffic in the middle of neighborhoods where kids are walking to and from school, and fast food in such close proximity to two schools is also problematic.

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