Residents worry about 7-Eleven effects

Neighbors in historic district say traffic will be a problem

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. - People who live in the Nelmar Terrace neighborhood of St. Augustine have always dealt with traffic in their quaint neighborhood.

Now they fear it will only get worse because a proposed 7-Eleven could be built around the corner.

"Our biggest concern for it would be the traffic that's inevitably going to be diverted on our nice quiet historic neighborhood," resident Jeanette Booth said.

She's not the only neighbor worried about traffic.

"It's going to be a right turn in only and a right turn out on San Marco (Avenue) only," resident Debbi Sauls said.

7-Eleven is eyeing the vacant corner of May Street and San Marco across from the carousel. The store and gas station would sit on the edge of the historic Nelmar Terrace neighborhood, near the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind.

"I would hope that they would consider another location for the gas station and then for that corner something that is more appropriate for the neighborhood," Booth said.

"It's going to be (open) 24 hours, which we're not real thrilled about," Sauls said. "But again, with that said, the property is zoned for that, so there's not a lot of what we can do but appeal to them."

The city still needs to approve two elements to the project. George McClure, who represents 7-Eleven locally, said the city will likely approve the project regardless of the complaints.

"I don't know what this really is about because the story that I heard was, when the neighbors heard it was going to be a Starbucks, everybody was thrilled, but they don't like a 7-Eleven," McClure said.

Although neighbors may not like the idea, some say they will go to the store if it's built.

"If it's there, I'm going to use it because it will be convenient," Sauls said.

If the city grants approval for the entry, corridor guidelines and the tree removal construction will begin in six to seven months.

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