November 12, 2013 | 03:27 PMThe Kwik Trip debate is confusing, so let’s break it down in a Q&A.
Q: What’s this about?
A: Kwik Trip wants to build a 24-hour, 6,000-square-foot gas station/convenience store/car wash in Lake Geneva and needs approval from the city to do it.
Those against Kwik Trip make several arguments:
1. It will hurt the other two gas stations nearby. Employees of those gas stations could be in jeopardy of losing their jobs.
2. It will create a “gas station alley” by having three gas stations virtually on top of each other.
3. If the current stations would fail, they would not be attractive sites for other businesses because the gas tanks beneath the surface are difficult to do away with.
4. The light, noise and activity of an around-the-clock business would be disruptive to those who live in the area.
5. A petition signed by 750 people objects to the Kwik Trip.
6. There’d be traffic congestion.
Those in favor say:
1. A Kwik Trip would eliminate a blighted area, replacing three less-than-adequate buildings, a former gas station, a 40,000 square foot former factory and a travel agency.
2. A gas station may not be ideal, but no other viable proposal has been made to purchase those properties in 17 years.
3. It’s not up to the city to take sides in the free enterprise system, only to determine if the zoning request is proper.
4. If the city rejects the request, it could be open to litigation.
5. Requests to limit noise and light concerns have been accepted by Kwik Trip as was a request that the car wash be closed at night.
6. Entry points to the proposed Kwik Trip are such that it would mitigate traffic flow concerns.
Q: What’s happened so far?
A: The city’s Plan Commission rejected a motion to approve Kwik Trip’s conditional use permit by a 5-2 margin. It was to go to the city council, but City Attorney Dan Draper wrote a memo saying that the Plan Commission had not given specific reasons for its rejection — which is a requirement of the city zoning code. The council agreed to send it back to the Plan Commission for further consideration. The Plan Commission will meet again at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 18. If a recommendation does reach the council, it will need five votes to reject the Kwik Trip request regardless of how many of the eight council members are in attendance. If the vote was tied at 4-4, Mayor Jim Connors would get the deciding vote.