Debate over Race Trac gas station fuels tension in Royal Palm Be - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Debate over Race Trac gas station fuels tension in Royal Palm Beach

ROYAL PALM BEACH, Fla. - UPDATE: 

Mayor Matty Mattioli said after a three-hour meeting it was agreed that more studies are needed. The issue will be addressed again at council meetings in December.

EARLIER STORY

A proposed gas station in Royal Palm Beach is fueling frustrations.

The city is deciding Thursday night on whether or not to allow a Race Trac gas station to be constructed on the corner or Southern and Royal Palm Beach Blvd.

However, residents there are saying it's not going in without a fight.

Their last meeting the village had to discuss the issue was marked by contentious exchanges that show just how divisive this issue has become.

Two weeks later, as the village council prepares to vote on the issue, opinions are still strong.

Timothy Woodcock proudly displays his opinion on his lawn with a sign that says 'Race Trac NO'.

"I just hope corporate America really doesn't take control...I hope we can have a say," he says.

The village tells us they are doing what they can to reduce the impact of the station

They've asked Race Trac to install toned down lights, as well as a toned down paint scheme.

The hope is to provide a look that fits into the neighborhood.

But even so, Woodcock says with a dozen stations within a mile radius of his neighborhood, another one isn't necessary.

"I would like to see something else other than a gas station - even a restaurant." he says. "Why does it have to be a 24 hour gas station?"

Shirley Amason says she's worried the quiet life she's enjoyed here for decades will be interrupted.

"Too much traffic already at that corner," Amason says. "It's already congested some of the time so it's gonna be worse."

Woodcock is concerned a station of that size will attract transients.

"I think it'll bring prostitution and crime and it's really not good for Royal Palm Beach."

A spokesperson with Race Trac sent us a statement saying: "We will continue to work with local law makers and residents as we move towards building the new Race Trac."

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