CAPE CORAL, Fla. - Much to some people's dismay, construction will begin on a new 7-Eleven gas station in just a few months. Residents argue the station will pump more crime and congestion along Skyline Boulevard and Cape Coral Parkway.
Many say they are disappointed after they've been fighting this gas station since last year. In fact someone is so opposed to it, he or she is mailing out these flyers saying the station will ruin the community. But construction could start as soon as 45 days.
"I felt the council was more concerned with the legal ramifications of their decision, rather than the right decision," said James Reynolds. James and his wife are upset with the city's decision and worry about the impact. "Traffic concerns," she said. "All the accidents that are going to be there with the lights. They go through them."
They aren't the only ones. An anonymous person who states he or she is not affiliated with any group even mailed out controversial flyers depicting a man holding a baseball bat with a warning that the gas station will bring crime and slum to the area.
"With an increase in activity there is an increase in crime for that particular business, but statistically it's difficult to prove if at all that a surrounding areas crime increases because of that business," said Lt. Tony Sizemore with the Cape Coral Police Department.
Despite concerns, Cape Coral's city council decided turn down residents' appeals and voted five to three to move forward with construction. "It's imperative that the person appealing a decision bring us evidence of why we should overturn something. Unfortunately that did not happen," explained councilwoman Rana Erbrick.
The city's Economic Development Office says commercial growth, like 7-Elevens, increase the value of properties and are looked on as a positive economic sign.
But this battle might not be over yet. People could still consider taking this matter to court. They don't have a lot of time, though. According to the city, Creighton Construction, the developer, holds the fastest construction time on record for a 7-Eleven: building one in 57 days.