Controversy over gas pumps

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - Homeowners near a Short Pump Kroger are angry after hearing that the store wants to add gas pumps in the Wellesley Subdivision near Lauderdale Drive and West Broad Street.

The Wellesley community is a quiet one: nice houses on nice streets. Residents say they were promised a hospital or high end retail nearby.

"We've been told that there would be no gas station," said Julie Laghi.

NBC12 confirmed that with the planning commission. When Kroger came in, it was approved under the condition that there would be no pumps. But, at a homeowners meeting Wednesday, their lawyer said that's exactly what the mega-grocery store hopes to do.

"Everyone voiced their objections based on the fact that there was a proffered sign indicating there would not be a gas station allowed there," said Jim Morgan.  "That was a very important thing to our community."

What this controversy all boils down to is what residents call a broken promise. They were told the area would be developed with high end shops.

"Now, they've continued to bring in what we consider, lower end tenants," said Morgan. "Now a gas station is probably like the worst case scenario that everyone expected over the last five or six years."

Residents worry the gas pump could reduce property values and pollute this lake.

"Our big concern is noise and also it will affect our property values," said Laghi. "Traffic and lights and people moving around and this is supposed to be an upscale neighborhood, but the traffic of a gas station is not really what we're looking for."

Tonight, we've confirmed that Kroger's lawyer did send an email to the association saying that the store would wait at least 30 days to file for permission to build pumps while they consider what residents had to say.

To put in gas pumps, Kroger would need approval from the Board of Supervisors and the Planning Commission.

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