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Tensions run high over proposed gas station in Fruit Cove

Zoning committee did not recommend potential plans during meeting

FRUIT COVE, Fla. – It was an emotional day for many who spoke out Thursday against a Daily's 24-hour gas station being built along State Road 13.

At the end of Thursday's meeting, a planning and zoning committee did not recommend the plans, but the battle isn't over.

The nearly 8-acre plot of land sits just outside Fruit Cove Estates. The proposal looks to have not only a gas station but a convenience store and car wash as an accessory to the store located just south of Race Track Road.

"Daily's told us that a gas station here is going to be the greatest thing that ever happened to us, we didn't drink the Kool-Aid," Fruit Cove resident, Harry Fairfield, said. "There are 18 properties within 300 feet of this gas station. The first home there -- their bedroom is 30 feet away from a 24 pump gas station that is open 24 hours with a car wash."

Fairfield, along with others is worried about how the development will impact traffic, noise and their overall health due to the proximity of the gas station.

"These are our homes. These are our families, and to be honest, we feel violated," said Cindy Dunlop, a Fruit Cove resident. "We feel violated that they are event trying to do this but I'm confident. I really feel like we did our homework. We have very strong cases. We're emotional, but we have facts, so, I'm confident we will prevail."

Ultimately, the county commission will make the final decision on the project.


About the Authors:

Allyson Henning

Florida-born multi-media journalist pays special attention to issues in St. Johns County.

Lauren Verno

Lauren Verno anchors the 9 a.m. hour of The Morning Show and is the consumer investigative reporter weekday afternoons.