City news

Kwik Shop relocating its storage tanks is unlawful and puts residents in danger, said a resident who lives near the expansion on the northeast corner of Buckeye Avenue and 14th Street.

Casey Callis said he received notice in a letter on Saturday of the change in design but he did not receive a notice of discussion of the relocation held on June 17 at a Abilene City Commission study session.

“The city has put the residents that this greatly effects in harms way, our general health, safety and welfare,” he said during the public forum portion of the Abilene City Commission meeting on Monday.

“No such notice was given, so we have no voice in the matter,” he said. “This decision was never open to public forum or debate. The residents that are being greatly affected by this relocation of storage tanks were never granted an opportunity to voice our concerns or thoughts.”

The city commission learned that Kwik Shop, Inc., the owners of the convenience store, found the ground was contaminated where the tanks were to be stored which was where the gasoline pumps are currently. The plan was to move the tanks to the east edge of the property.

“You would never agree to this in your backyard,” Callis told the commissioners. “Because of that, it makes you a coward. You have an obligation and duty to protect the health and safety of the residents.”

City Attorney Aaron Martin said at the study session that the location of the tanks was not a requirement in the conditional use permit.

On Feb. 23, 2015 the Abilene City Commission approved a rezoning of the 1407 N. Buckeye property from residential to commercial and approved a conditional use permit.

“In making that decision, the city commissioners referred to a planning development guideline that outlined several factors in making that decision,” he said.

Callis quoted Abilene amendment procedures document “Factors to be Considered in a Rezoning.”

“Whether the relative gain to the public health, safety, and general welfare outweighs the hardship imposed upon the applicant by not upgrading the value of the property by such reclassification: This factor acknowledges that the basis for zoning is protection of public health, safety and welfare. Any rezoning request involves balancing the property owner’s interests with the interests of the public.”

“This factor acknowledges that the basis for any zoning request balances the property owners’ interest with the interest of the public,” he said.

Callis said that Clay Brasher with the then Dillon Real Estate Co. said that the plan was to only add additional gas pumps and parking.

“The gas storage tanks would remain in the same location, therefore the public’s health, safety and welfare are at no greater risk than they are currently. Keeping the storage tanks in their current location was part of the sales pitch that the Dillons store fed the commissioners. The commissioners bought it and approved the conditional use permit and adopted a city ordinance reflecting as much.”

He said the conditional use permit approved in Ordinance 3263 calls for the placement of additional gasoline pumps and additional parking.

“The conditional use permit does not mention or include the relocation of gas storage tanks,” he said.

He said with the relocation of the gas storage tanks to the east side of the new lot, the original ordinance is not being followed.

Oktoberfest

Abilene’s Oktoberfest is being moved to downtown Abilene from Old Abilene Town.

Organizer Heidi Anderson said the event will be held from 10 a.m. to Midnight on Broadway Avenue from Third to Fourth streets on Sept. 14.

The complete intersection of Fourth and Broadway will be utilized.

The Abilene City Commission approved the event on a 3-0 vote with commissioners Sharon Petersen and Trevor Witt absent.

Contact Tim Horan at editor@abilene-rc.com.

Contact Tim Horan at editor@abilene-rc.com.

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