COLORADO SPRINGS — The fight over a proposed Kum & Go gas station near the Ivywild neighborhood in Colorado Springs is over as the store now prepares to break ground.
At 1501 South 8th Street, traffic is constant along a vacant one-acre site, but not for long.
“My husband and I love Kum & Go and I’m very serious about that,” said Stephannie Fortune, District 3 Colorado Springs Councilwoman.
For months Colorado Springs Councilmembers discussed the pros and cons of adding another Kum & Go gas station in the city. With 12 already here, Ivywild neighbors and some council members believe the proposed location is not the right fit.
“The neighborhood means a lot to me and I do have concerns,” Councilwoman Fortune explained, “I don’t think it’s harmonious, I don’t think it’s compatible.”
Along 8th and West Brookside streets, there are some commercial businesses, housing, and community members who believe a gas station would impact their quality of life.
“It’s hard not to be somewhat emotional because I live across the street,” said John Severson, an Ivywild community member.
The proposed site was home to a gas station before and the new store is smaller than average Kum & Go locations in Colorado Springs.
“Those are all 5,600 square feet,” said Mary Castle, Kum & Go’s Civil Engineer.
The new store will be under 4,000 square feet and Kum & Go plans to put a retaining wall to buffer the station from nearby apartments.
“Kum & Go has done sound studies that show that they are below ambient noise,” Castle explained.
In some cases, bedroom windows will be about 20 feet from the new gas station. Kum & Go ensures lighting will be limited and truck deliveries won’t impact traffic.
“There’s been some concern expressed that this Kum & Go will bring increased traffic and noise in the neighborhood, in fact, it won’t,” said Bruce Wright, Kum & Go’s Attorney.
“I just don’t think this is where Kum & Go can best serve the city or this neighborhood, I will be voting to deny the appeal,” Nancy Henjum, Colorado Springs’s District 5 Councilwoman said.
The site was previously coded for a gas station, which is why several council members said they voted for the Kum & Go despite extensive community pushback.
Colorado Springs City Council voted 6-3 to allow the Kum & Go to be built, with councilmembers Murray, Henjum, and Fortune voting against.