Note: This Editorial, which originally ran Oct. 1, has been updated to reflect the new date of the re-zoning hearing.
While it isn’t a surprise that Leiszler Oil has resubmitted their proposal to build a monstrosity of a gas station at the southwest corner of the junction of US-24 and K-15, it should be cause for alarm to Clay Center residents who oppose the measure.
There's a good chance that this time the needed zoning change will be passed by the planning commission, as the vote was tied last time with one member absent. If it passes the planning commission, it's likely the city council and mayor won't stand in its way.
Those on the planning commission and the council who support this measure should reconsider. The council too should likewise oppose it, as they are the last line of defense against bad business deals that negatively impact the community.
There are many good reasons to oppose this disaster waiting
The traffic and congestion brought by this gas station/convenience
store would catastrophically create an even more unsafe pressure point where there is already a lot of accidents. Surely some other location — any location — would be better.
Moreover, neighbors living next to this future eyesore don’t want it and neither do voters or the community as a whole. They made that clear at the public hearing in April and the feedback that The Dispatch asked for online, in which four out of five respondents opposed the measure. With such opposition,the planning commission should not let the proposal go any further.
Those who oppose this should not ignore it. Come to the
public hearing at 5:30 p.m. on Nov. 11 at the United Methodist Family Life Center. Let your council representative know how you feel, especially if you haven’t already.
I’m personally so much against this measure that I'm willing to serve on the city's governing body in order to stop it. If you're worried the Leiszler Oil proposal might get through the council, please write my name in for either Ward 3 council seat or as mayor in the upcoming city/school board election on Nov. 4.
-- Ryan D. Wilson