Controversy over new QT convenience store - KCTV5 News

Controversy over new QT convenience store

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More than 1,000 homeowners in four midtown neighborhoods are making noise to keep their areas quiet.

Neighbors say a proposed so-called "Generation 3" QuikTrip complete with 10 pumps and a full service convenience store at 34th Street and Southwest Trafficway could destroy their property values and safety.

"Just look around this area. There are no other businesses with that kind of volume. It would just be a major disruption," said Jim Martin, president of the Valentine Neighborhood Association.

Kansas City Life Insurance Company just a few blocks away on Broadway Boulevard owns the vacant plot of land and is under contract with QuikTrip. The insurance company also owns several boarded up buildings in the neighborhood between Valentine Road and Penn Valley College.

"Do we consider them the devil? When all you see is destruction and no creation, what else can you think?" Martin asked.

The Valentine, Roanoke, Voelker and Coleman Highlands neighborhoods all hoped KC Life would develop more residential-friendly businesses like restaurants or mixed-use space. They fear a gas station would just cause traffic congestion and make it dangerous for families with kids in the area.

"The commuters may like to have a QT here, but the neighbors don't," Martin said.

A block away, Kansas City's oldest retail store - Browne's Deli - has been operating for 120 years. Owner Kerry Browne says her family has seen nothing but change and it isn't change they oppose.

"One of the first things proposed is to widen all the streets and put in left turn lanes everywhere, which would put a lot more cars into the residential neighborhoods," Browne said.

Browne also lives in neighboring Coleman Highlands with her husband and kids. She said the Valentine neighborhood isn't just where she works, it's practically where she lives too. She's hoped KC Life would develop some neighborhood-friendly businesses on all of the land they own in the area.

"I think this would set us back years and all the meetings of what the city wants for this Plaza/Midtown area to be," Browne said.

KC Life would not answer any of KCTV5's questions regarding the QuikTrip proposal. QuikTrip confirmed it is under contract for the sale of the land, but the project is in its "infant stages."

"We meet with area businesses and residents to discuss our plans, actively seeking their suggestions and input," QuikTrip Manager of Public and Government Affairs Mike Thornbrugh said. "We have found that by conducting these meetings, QuikTrip will have the opportunity to discuss any concerns and dispel any inaccurate information."

City Councilwoman Jan Marcason said when developers approached City Council with this idea, City Council said QuikTrip must get neighbors' approval.

Marcason told KCTV5 she is confident the council would not approve any rezoning or special permits needed to build the QuikTrip if neighbors have strong opposition to the business.

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