Buc-ee's pushing forward despite push back from residents

By Ashley Harding - Reporter, Crystal Chen - Assignment editor/reporter

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. - Debate pushes on as plans to build a Buc-ee's Superstore in World Golf Village move forward. 

The company has submitted its construction plans to the county for review.

VIEW: Buc-ee's Construction Plan

Sky4 helicopter captured a bird's eye view of the area where Buc-ee's would be built just off I-95. This map also shows the area the facility will cover:

Not everyone is thrilled with the idea of bringing Buc-ee's to St. Johns County.

Over the last several months, more than 2,000 people have signed an online petition against building a Buc-ee's at World Golf Village.

Unhappy residents have attended county meetings to voice their concerns, even when Buc-ee's is not on the agenda, said county leaders. 

The main complaint from people in the area is the traffic it will bring.

"They don't think that it's necessary. They don't think, with the other gas stations around here that it is needed. The size of it scares them a little bit," said Joanna Smith, a resident in World Golf Village.

Despite the push back, Buc-ee's is pushing on with its plans to construct the nearly 53,000 square foot convenience store and restaurant.

Buc-ee's Corporate Statment:

Buc-ee’s is excited about its new travel center location in St. John’s. Buc-ee’s existing locations have all had a positive response from the local communities. As with its other stores, Buc-ee’s will be offering a unique and fun shopping experience while also bringing well-paying jobs to the St. John’s area. We know that the local residents will enjoy the store.

The county is currently reviewing construction plans submitted by Buc-ee's last month. It includes a few changes. Most notably, instead of the original plan for 120 pumps, it will have 104. 

Even with some controversy, plans are moving forward and a formal public hearing would only be required if the store made special requests. 

So far, no such requests have been handed over to the county.

Residents like Anthony Sica who is excited about Buc-ee's hope to see it built soon.

"I live on the other side, I live on Murabella. On the other side of 95, and like I said, the more jobs the better," said Sica.

The county does not currently have a deadline in place for reviewing the construction plans. 

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