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Community takes on 7-Eleven

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Updated: 8/12/2013 9:38 pm
ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- Neighbors are calling it anything but a convenience store. They don't want a 7-Eleven built on the corner on San Marco and May.

Former St. Augustine Mayor George Gardner said, "No.1, there is tremendous congestion at this intersection.  No. 2, it's an entry corridor to our city.  And to have a 12-pump gas station just doesn't lend to the ambiance of St. Augustine."

Gardner keeps tabs on public concerns, publishing a community newspaper called Historic City News.  He said his readers have been offering suggestions on other ways to make use of the empty lot.  And when one anonymous donor pledged $1,000 to help put the property in public hands, others were quick to follow.

"So now, there are a total of six, all $1,000 each," he said.

The lot sits across the street from the carousel at Davenport Park.  Parents who frequent the area say traffic there is already a nightmare.  Adding a gas station would just add fuel to the fire.

Mom Diane Cortese said, "Maybe something different would be more fitting for this area."

The 7-Eleven is still just a suggestion at this point, but Gardner said the willingness of the community to fight it with its own cash should send a clear message to developers and city planners.

He said those anonymous donors include homeowners and people with local business interests.

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