it takes a 

village

Did you know gas station with 8 FUELING STATIONs and a Car Wash is coming to the village of west clay?

You may be as surprised as we were to find out the Brenwick plans to put a gas station next to your home. Crazy! That's what we thought too. Please explore the site, visit the linked articles and research for yourself to see if this is really something that you want. A lot has transpired over the last few months and we've recently retained Community and Environmental Defense Services to help us protect the residents near the proposed site. A lot has transpired of the last few months so please subscribe to our newsletter to stay up to date. 

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01

Health

health concerns

what are the risks?
and is it really that bad?

Great Questions. To best understand what the risks are we need to know what we would be exposed to. The biggest health concerns for those living in close proximity to a gas station would be Benzene, Carbon Monoxide, and exhaust fumes. We all know the dangers of Engine Exhaust and Carbon Monoxide, but we wanted to introduce you to your new neighbor, Benzene.

Benzene

A natural component in gasoline and found in high concentrations at Gas Stations and engine exhaust, Benzene is a known cancer causing agent, and has no safe threshold of exposure. But don't take my word for it. View the research from a few reputable sources:

THE AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY
https://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancer-causes/benzene.html

THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION
https://www.euro.who.int/__data/assets/pdf_file/0005/74732/E71922.pdf

OEHHA
https://www.p65warnings.ca.gov/sites/default/files/downloads/factsheets/benzene_fact_sheet.pdf

So, according to the world's leading scientists, doctors, and safety organizations Benzene has no place near a home or in a residential setting.

 


how close do you have to live to be affected? 

Studies show increased rates of: 







https://hub.jhu.edu/2014/10/07/gas-station-spills/

Small spills at gas stations could cause significant public health risks over time

Residential Proximity to Environmental Hazards and Adverse Health Outcomes

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22028451/

https://www.indianaenvironmentalreporter.org/posts/gas-stations-emit-10-times-more-benzene-than-previously-recorded

texas a&M Health Science Center

https://phys.org/news/2018-10-gas-stations-vent-toxic-fumes.html

Gas stations vent far more toxic fumes than previously thought

cancer

childhood leukemia

birth defects

respiratory issues

Gas Stations Emit Ten Times More Benzene Than Previously Recorded

Residential Proximity to Gasoline Stations and Risk of Childhood Leukemia

At 300 ft, 500 ft, and even adverse effects up to one mile away. Once again, don't take our word for it. Read the research below and see how close is too close. Think about the residents of the Stratford and townhomes, and the children at Primrose who will breathe those fumes all day, every day.

https://academic.oup.com/aje/article/185/1/1/2631401

Look at the proposed location, and ask yourself:

02

safety

Is it too Close?

Lets talk leaks

After reading far too many reports on gas station compliance and safety (and talking with specialists) it's clear that it's not IF an Underground Storage Tank (UST's) will leak. It's WHEN it will leak. 

But once again, I don't want this to be here-say. So how many exactly have leaked? 




557,644

Don't feel bad, I thought that was a typo too. 

But that's nation wide since 1988, so we don't have that many leaks now...do we?

In Indiana alone there were 172 reported UST leaks last year. So roughly every other day in Indiana an underground storage tank containing petroleum starts leaking. Let that sink in.

Cleanup is not quick or easy. The EPA has a backlog of 1,235 sites to clean up here in Indiana. And they're moving at a pace of about 300 per year. Not their fault, it's not easy work to remove hazardous material from the area and even harder once it makes it to the ground water.

That sounds expensive. How much does it cost to clean up? On Average it's $130,000 per clean up. And if it gets into the ground water it can go well over $1 Million. 




EPA confirmed leaks

All Statistics taken from EPA's report on UST's performance

https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2019-11/documents/ca-19-34.pdf

safety concerns

The addition of a gas station within the neighborhood brings with it more than just health risks. With it comes the increased possibility of crime and an increase in traffic that will place the pedestrians and those riding bikes from one part of the village to another at risk.

Traffic

As a rule of thumb, each proposed pump at a gas station generates about 100 to 130 trips per day. By “pump” we mean fueling position. A convenience store will generate 800 to 1,200 trips per day per 1,000 square feet. These are industry standard numbers, and by the base estimates the gas station + convenience store would see well over 2000 trips per day. The additional traffic will not only create frustration but a number of safety concerns. 








• Can we see a traffic study covering directional and destination traffic patterns to ensure it's safe? 

• How will pedestrians be protected? With hundreds of residents walking across Towne Road every day, how will the residents be protected?

• What measures are being taken to insulate the neighborhood from the additional traffic, road noise, and pollution?







Crime

One study noted that:
“Convenience store employees suffer from high rates of workplace homicide, second only to taxicab drivers.”

A study of the relationship between violence of other factors found an increasing trend as the number of alcohol outlets in an area rose. the following is a principal finding from this study:

“A larger number of alcohol outlets and a higher rate of violence might be expected in poorer neighborhoods or in neighborhoods with a larger population of young people. But as the research described above shows, even when levels of poverty and the age and the ethnic background of residents are taken into account, a high density of outlets is strongly related to violence regardless of a neighborhood’s economic, ethnic or age status.”

%

of all robberies in the US occur at a convenience store or gas station

FBI National Crime Statistics: https://ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-u.s/2018/crime-in-the-u.s.-2018/tables/table-23

10

1

1

Can our neighborhood infrastructure handle the additional 2000-3000 trips per day?

Home values + Financial impacts

If you were given the option to purchase a home next to a gas station or one that is not next to a gas station, what would you pick? It's fair to say we would all choose the latter. What happens when the homes near the gas station try to sell, but buyers continue to choose other properties? Sellers will have to lower their price to make it more attractive. When those homes do sell, they are then counted as comps to similar homes throughout the neighborhood creating the possibility to negatively impact a large portion of our home values. 

Will it affect all home values? No. But it will affect some. A recent study shows that those within 300 ft could see as much as a 16% decrease in home value and those within 1500 feet could see as much as a 9% decrease. 

1

1

What are the Hidden Costs?

With the additional 2000 + daily trips into our neighborhood, what will the costs for additional security and infrastructure be?

With over 5000 gas station fires each year, what is the potential risk and cost if a fire causes damage to nearby homes or residents?

Who will shoulder the cost of the cleanup WHEN the tanks leak?

what to do & Who to Contact

As residents of the Village of West Clay and Carmel we need to express our concerns to all of those who are on the village board and the city council.  


1. Many of the residents who supposedly 'supported' and 'asked for' the project didn't even know about it. 
2. We're concerned about the health and safety ramifications of placing a gas station with known cancer causing effects within the neighborhood. How is it a gas station can be placed in a neighborhood in the first place?
3. The additional traffic will put pedestrians at great risk when walking across the neighborhood
4. While the exact financial impacts are unknown, there is a strong likelihood that a gas station within a residential setting could significantly and negatively impact our home values.

I'm sure you have more concerns and questions, as we all do. So please feel free to email voice them to our board and council members as well as on our form below.

1. 

SIGN THE PETITION (click here)

3. 

CONTACT EACH AND EVERY COUNCIL MEMBER AND BOARD MEMBER (LISTED BELOW)

Feel free use these concerns as a guide and share them along with your own thoughts in your email

2.

EMAIL THE BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS 

Email the Board of Zoning Appeals: Joe Shestak




• Put “gas station at 131st and Towne- Docket No. PZ-2020-00093-96 V” in the subject line.

• At this point the initial zoning is complete. So we have to fight the 4 variances. Write to the Board of Zoning Appeals and express your concern regarding the 4 variance requests, and how allowing them will provide a dangerous precedent for future development.

• The emails need to focus on the facts of the variances and not on our opinions. Emails stating we don't want a gas station will be ignored. Our two largest concerns are moving the pumps and parking from behind the building to the front, and reducing the amount of space required for cars to wait in line. Ordinances  This produces a big hazard that could impact the traffic and safety of pedestrians. Please reach out to us and we can explain the variances in detail.




(MOST IMPORTANT)

Jim Brainard, Carmel Mayor
317-571-2401 
jbrainard@carmel.in.gov

Miles Nelson, West District City Council Representative
317-696-5857 
mnelson@carmel.in.gov

DR. TIM HANNON, CITY COUNCIL AT-LARGE
317-504-9378 
THANNON@CARMEL.IN.GOV

KEVIN “WOODY” RIDER, CITY COUNCIL AT-LARGE
317-503-7095 
KRIDER@CARMEL.IN.GOV

JEFF WORRELL, CITY COUNCIL AT-LARGE
317-471-9836 
JWORRELL@CARMEL.IN.GOV

P1 | Debra Minott | Vice President – minott1082@aol.com

P2 | Greg Maiers | President – greg.maiers@gmail.com

P3 | Jim Winner | jbw0802@gmail.com

P4 | Mike Pirkle | mpirkle@indy.rr.com

S1 | John Haskin | jhaskin@jhaskinlaw.com

S2 | Terry O’Brien | tobrien@obrienauto.com

S3 | Bob Richmond | Treasurer – brichmond89@yahoo.com

S4 | Andrea Kelly | andrea.kelly@encoresir.com

S5 | John Frieburg | john.frieburgiii@sbcglobal.net

S6 | Samia Alajlouni | salajlou@gmail.com

TH | Matt Shergalis | Secretary – mvshergalis@gmail.com

UP | Christine Rainey | christinerainey@nbofl.com

VC | David Klain | david@dbklain.com

Founding Member | George Sweet | georges@brenwick.com

Founding Member | Tom Huston | tomh@brenwick.com

Executive Director | Jeff Terp | jefft@vwcownersassn.com

Carmel city council

VoWC Board Members

jshestak@carmel.in.gov


Project documents

If you'd like to learn more about the project all of the documents can be found at the link below including variance requests, elevations, and site plans.

http://cocdocs.carmel.in.gov/WebLink/Browse.aspx?id=1824967&dbid=0&repo=CityofCarmel

Location:

your Support letter:

"The residents of the Village strongly support the Family Express convenience store" - Jeff Terp 

A large portion of us were never asked if we supported a gas station. And many didn't even know it was in the works. 

How is it that we can strongly support something we weren't aware of? 

findings of fact

According to Brenwick in their application for the variance this project is "supported by the surrounding owners and Village residents"

Again, How do they know if the village residents support something if we have not been asked? Given that Brenwick is declaring our support, should Brenwick have conducted a village wide survey or vote?

Please see the following email from the Village of West Clay Executive Director, which was only sent to select people asking them to express support. If people are saying that ALL of the village residents support something, shouldn't ALL of the village residents be asked?

a pediatric office they said...

As you can see from an email correspondence in 2015 The Village asked residents to support a motion to rezone Area 3 (where the gas station is planning on going) to commercial so they could put in a 'Pediatric Office.' 

Who wouldn't support that?

A splendid example of Transparency (yes, that's one of the Village's core values)

voice your opinion

If you'd like to stay up to date on ways we can help keep the Village of west clay a safe and healthy community or if you'd simply like more information please share your email below and we'll add you to our email list. 

Updates and Progress

We will be posting anything new we find or additional information below

-6/29-

We found a Hamilton County Zoning Ordinance  that prevents elderly care facilities and schools from being within 300 ft of gas pumps, tanks, or storage of flammable materials:

-7/2-

* Unfortunately the above ordinance is a hamilton County ordinance, and does not apply to carmel.* 

-7/7-

about 40 of us met with the vowc board to discuss our concerns. it was an interesting meeting to say the least.

officially the president of the board said that they "did not have a dog in the fight." and they did not support or oppose the gas station... despite the fact that they sent a letter on our behalf saying we support it. There was a lot of conflicting information from the board about what they supported, have done, or could do. 

-7/12-

We wanted to get a better idea of what a 6 bay/12pump location, Family express actually looks like. We found one. It has a nearly identical layout to what they want to build in the village of west clay.

 This will fit in with the Village nicely; I'm sure you'll hardly notice it. 

-7/17-

2 of our neighbors met with Jeff Terp yesterday to discuss verbiage for a neighborhood wide survey. Our goal was to be clear and factual and see if the residents actually support the proposed gas station. We specifically requested that the size and location of the project be clearly outlined. to help educate residents. we didn't try to bias it in any way, only to encourage that he share what has been filed with the city, and supported by jeff in a letter to the mayor.

If you received his survey, you can see that he had no desire to be transparent. He refused to call it a gas station, refused to show on a map where it would be, and refused to include any information about what family express and brenwick are actually requesting. 

Where is the transparency? 

To help show you exactly what family express and brenwick are proposing, we've included the elevations and site plan submitted to the city. 

-8/16-

The survey results came back with 63% of the responses against the gas sation.

This a great step in showing FAmily Express and BRenwick that the support they supposedly had is not there. We asked that the board rescind their letter of support, and they did say the board was made a unanimous decision to do so.  HEre is their exact response:

"The Board is in unanimous agreement that our previous letter will be amended assuming the variance proceeds."

 I'm not sure what they mean by "if the variance proceeds" Our request for further clarification was not responded to. 

Also, The BZA hearing has been postponed to Sept 28th. We'll continue to update you along the way. If you'd like more frequent updates please sign up below to be added to our mailing list:

-8/31-

Brenwick & Family Express withdrew the four variances and have redesigned the gas station so that they would no longer need variances. Right now they are proposing 8 fueling stations, car wash, and around 5,000 sq ft convenience store. I have the attached drawing below. Their next steps is getting their plan approved from the city’s Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) with the Dept. of Community Services (DoCS) if that gets approved, they’ll pull permits to start building.