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Gas station plan shunned by Council due to past promises

Proximity to comparable services and prior development understandings were principal concerns raised over a proposal to build a new gas station at Lowell and E. Midway boulevards during a Broomfield City Council study session on May 17.

Proximity to comparable services and prior development understandings were principal concerns raised over a proposal to build a new gas station at Lowell and E. Midway boulevards during a Broomfield City Council study session on Tuesday.

Applicant, Kum & Go LC,  is seeking to open a convenience store with four canopy-covered gas pumps and associated parking located on the southwest corner of Lowell and E. Midway boulevards. The site — totaling 1.74 acres — is located due east of the Brandywine neighborhood in the Hansen’s Corner Planned Unit Development area.

The proposed gas station would be located near two other gas stations. The PUD is located near a 7-11/Conoco approximately 300 feet northeast and another Conoco about 280 feet to the southeast of the site.

Highlighting Kum and Go design plans was Erica Morton, civil engineer with Olson, who noted the site was previously zoned for commercial uses.

Despite concerns about nearby gas outlets, Morton said Kum and Go officials studied the location and feel confident the business would thrive.

To allay concerns over impacts on nearby residents, Morton said earlier design plans were revised to include enhanced landscaping, with the potential for upgraded fencing also offered.

Morton cast doubt on the station increasing traffic flow nearby, noting that Kum and Go would not be a prime destination point.

“People don’t leave home to go to a gas station,” she said.

Despite those assurances area residents still voiced reservations, such as Helen Bennington, who said she failed to see the positive aspects.

“Even with a lot of really great landscaping it’s just another gas station on a very busy corner right across from our Open Space,” she said. 

Mayor Pro-Tem Stan Jezierski was clear on opposing the project.

“I’m a firm no on this project,” he said.

While not harboring ill will toward Kum and Go, Jezierski said prior promises made by land owners have failed to materialize.

The property was originally annexed into Broomfield in February 1971 and zoned as PUD in September 1973. In 1982, a portion of the property was rezoned as B-1, with a self-storage business, Life Storage, approved in 2016 for the south side of the site.

“I was on council when we originally approved the storage facility,” he said.

At that time, Jezierski explained, property owner the Hansen Living Trust and applicant Robert Bishop pledged to develop a “neighborhood center” on the north side of the storage facility. 

“At that time we were given a carrot that promised us a nice little strip plaza that was going to have local restaurants and coffee shops,” he said. “I’m going to hold the land owner to this.”

Councilmember James Marsh-Holschen also took exception with property owners changing course.

“This isn’t the first time the property owner has come forward with something other than what they promised,” he noted. “How is this proposal anything other than a waste of council, staff and community time?”

Mayor Guyleen Castriotta also voiced opposition to the gas station plans.

“There was a commitment made to the neighborhood and I have to agree with my colleagues that this doesn’t honor that commitment,” she said.  “The memories are still pretty fresh from 2016 when that exception was made for that storage facility.”

While an official vote is not taken during a concept review, if the applicant would proceed with permitting, the council’s unanimous opposition would be taken into account.