Parents and neighbors expressed concern about a 24-hour convenience store and gas station set to be built across the street from a middle school in Northwest Bakersfield.
In addition to a 16-pump ampm gas station, the site, located at the intersection of Snow Rd. and Calloway Dr. will also feature a car wash, two fast food restaurants, and a retail building.
“It’s a safety risk for the kids and the surrounding neighbors,” said concerned resident Michele Timmerman. “We don’t want it that close to the school. You’ve got a business going in right here at the corner that’s going to be selling alcohol, tobacco, vaping products. You’ve got children coming and going, walking through these crosswalks in the morning and afternoon. So the risk is going to be high.”
Timmerman also stated she was concerned the new project will bring more traffic and noise to the area.
“It’s going to change the whole style of our neighborhood, the whole quality of our life.”
At last week’s board of supervisor’s meeting, County planning director Lorelei Oviatt said increased traffic will not be a concern because the county plans to upgrade roads in the area.
“There would be construction on two westbound, one northbound lane, two southbound lanes, a curb gutter, a side walk, additional signalization, as well as deceleration lanes,” she said. “Traffic studies show that the traffic generated will not increase traffic, and will actually decrease the average delay times for drivers at the intersection.”
Neighbors said they have come to terms with the development, but they’re hoping the developer will make changes to the plan.
“We want to ask that the developer works with us and county to put into place conditions that are going to ensure this is a safe project,” Timmerman said.
Representatives from the Norris School District have voiced concerns for the project. Representatives from the Board of Supervisors said they are set to discuss the plan at the upcoming Oct. 9 board meeting.
17 News reached out to the developer for comment, but did not receive a call back.