Davenport neighbors ask city leaders to ‘do their job’ and deny gas station expansion

News

A gas station in northwest Davenport has been met with pushback after requesting to expand. 

The owners of GD Xpress gas station on Pine Street have asked city leaders to rezone their property to a larger commercial space. 

On Wednesday, almost a dozen neighbors attended the Committee of the Whole meeting to voice their concerns. 

Now they’re calling on city leaders to make a decision. 

On Thursday, Owner Jasveer Saini said having some of the lowest gas prices in the area keeps them busy, especially in the evening. 

Saini says in their initial proposal, they wanted to move their building back, add three more gas pumps, be open 24 hours and create more room for parking. 

“We really get busy in the evening time in here and that’s the main reason that if we can push the building back and add more pumps that would be a lot easier,” said Saini. 

Saini says being a local gas station, it’s tough to keep up with major chains and increasing gas prices, which is why he’s hoping to expand. 

But Judith Lee and other neighbors are saying no.

“We in the neighborhood do not want to see a bigger store, more alcohol, it’s in disrepair,” said Lee. 

When it came time to bring their concerns to city leaders, they didn’t show up empty-handed. 

Lee and other neighbors presented a detailed list dating back to January 1, 2016 through May 2019 that showed 92 incidents had been reported to police at GD Xpress.  

The incidents include theft, firearms, drugs, harassment and more. 

“The neighbors have been very clear, I think in their concerns with this particular issue, with the litter, with the traffic, with the noise, with the crime,” said Lee. 

They even presented pictures of the trash they’ve collected around the property. 

But Lee says what’s most concerning is that it’s also a liquor store.

In her letter to city leaders, Lee states the gas station is violating Davenport’s “Alcoholic Beverage Control” codes.

But she tells Local 4 News when she tried to find out which city officials are responsible for enforcing these regulations, she didn’t get an answer.

“We want them in compliance, legal compliance, for cigarettes, for alcohol, for health and safety, for fire, and we want it spruced up,” she said. 

At Wednesday’s meeting, city leaders tabled the issue for a later date, leaving neighbors frustrated. 

Lee says they don’t want to lose momentum with delays. 

“I would just like the city council to please do their job, and make a decision on the zoning and don’t put it back on the neighbors to try to enforce their job,” she said.

Now they hope soon, their concerns will be heard, and acted on.

Saini says after hearing neighbor’s concerns, they are going to make changes, talk to neighbors in the area, and present their new plan in a few weeks. Saini says they want to be a good neighbor and hope to find a compromise.

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