The DeSoto County Board of Supervisors on Monday upheld a previous decision by the DeSoto County Board of Adjustment to deny a developer from installing gasoline pumps at a planned convenience store near Fox Creek subdivision in eastern DeSoto County.
Under a Planned Unit Development approved in 1992, the parcel in question was already zoned to allow commercial businesses at the site, which fronts Goodman Road and North Fox Creek Road.
However, residents opposed allowing developer Ibrahim Babukr to install gasoline pumps at his planned convenience store, which would eventually be part of a larger development at the site.
Babukr's attorney, Barry Bridgforth, Jr., said his client wished to be allowed to sell gasoline at the site due to the fact there is a seven-mile stretch of Goodman Road in which no gasoline is sold.
The conditional use request was denied, according to DeSoto County Supervisor Jessie Medlin, because of adverse changes the selling of gasoline would bring to the neighborhood by the way of increased traffic.
Troubling to Medlin was the fact that many motorists would actually enter the convenience store site off of North Fox Creek Road, near the entrance to the rural subdivision.
Resident David Rose said he was concerned about security issues since the convenience store/gas station would bring in traffic to the tranquil neighborhood.
"My wife is afraid to let the kids play outside with the idea of this being developed," Rose said.
Don Bruce, a Fox Creek Drive resident, said warehouses in the area have already increased traffic. Bruce also pointed out that anecdotal evidence suggests "gas stations are a target for crime." He cited FBI crime statistics but none were entered as part of the official record.
Another resident, Carolyn McDale, complained that developers opted not to install an eight-foot wall behind the development as is required in other areas.
Developers planned a landscaped buffer instead.
District 5 Supervisor Michael Lee seconded Medlin's motion to deny the appeal and uphold the Board of Adjustment decision to deny the conditional use request to allow the gasoline pumps at the location.
The motion passed 3-1 with District 3 Supervisor Bill Russell voting against, saying he thought "there was a lot of room for compromise."
Robert Lee Long is Community Editor of the DeSoto Times-Tribune. He may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 662-429-6397, Ext. 252.