Jul 25, 2013 11:15 PM by Tony Spehar - firstname.lastname@example.org
A potential new neighbor isn't getting a warm welcome from some folks living in Old Colorado City, Kum & Go plans to build a station on W. Colorado Ave. between 23rd and 24th streets where Goodwill buildings currently sit and some neighbors are trying to fight it.
Discover Goodwill Southern & Western Colorado has entered into a contract with Kum & Go for the company to buy buildings on Colorado Ave. that Goodwill will be moving out of to relocate to a new location in central Colorado Springs. Neighbors didn't have any problems when Goodwill announced it would be moving two-years ago, but say they were shocked to learn Kum & Go would be buying the property.
"I thought it was awful, we have a really special neighborhood here," explained Sue Spengler, who lives along the property. "It does not fit with the neighborhood at all."
Kum & Go has proposed building a 5,000-square-foot convenience store and gas station with ten pumps. Spengler has put up a petition online to block the plan and as of late Thursday night 750 people had signed it. Neighbors are concerned about noise, traffic and light pollution.
"They are going to be open 24-hours a day, seven days a week, it's going to be fully lit the whole time," Spengler said. "They'll tell you their lighting won't spill over, but tell that to the people who live right across the street."
Bradd Hafer, a spokesman for Goodwill, said the nonprofit had worked to find a buyer who neighbors would find suitable. When they first announced their plans to move two-years ago Goodwill held community meetings.
"They were basically voicing what they would like to see come in and utilize that space and that ranged everything from food establishments to lodging to a community center," Hafer described.
Over the two-years of seeking a buyer Hafer said they tried to attract businesses that neighbors wanted, but in that time they received only one offer from Kum & Go.
"This is not a matter of a highest bidder, this has been one bidder only that has come to the table," Hafer explained.
Goodwill has signed a contract with Kum & Go, who will build on the property once the plan has been approved by the city. Goodwill could entertain back-up offers if the deal with Kum & Go would be canceled.
For their part, Kum & Go representatives told News 5 they will work to deal with neighbor's concerns.
"We appreciate the historic architecture of Old Colorado City and we are working closely with local chambers, city councils, local businesses and neighbors to ensure that the design of our store blends into the architectural environment of the community," the company said in a statement.
Sue Spengler said the concerns of her neighborhood are not with the architecture of the building, but rather with traffic, noise, light and the potential for negative affects on property values.
"We'll fight it all the way," Spengler vowed.
The city planning commission will hold a workshop people from the neighborhood and representatives of Kum & Go at their 5:30 p.m. meeting on Monday at 2320 W. Colorado Ave. Both the planning commission and the city council have to approve to plan to build a gas station before it can move forward.