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East Medford residents' Christmas wish

At the end of October, Colvin Oil/GP Energy/Andretti Group took official possession of the vacant 2.5-acre lot on the northeast corner of Springbrook and East McAndrews roads. This is the lot where they have had plans to build a Circle K convenience store with a gas station, car wash and a drive-through coffee kiosk.

By now, a good number of Rogue Valley citizens should know that the residents surrounding the proposed project have opposed the project from the start. Today, it is mostly evident by the nearly 300 yard signs they have put up in the neighborhood saying “Boycott Circle K.”

Their opposition to the project is not unfounded. The proposed Circle K project would be a big-time quality-of-life issue for the surrounding residents. This project will introduce a whole new slew of issues for them to deal with: 1) Increased crime, 2) increased traffic congestion and therefore accidents, 3) increased noise pollution, 4) increased lighting pollution, 5) increased air pollution, 6) increased safety concerns and 7) more than likely a degradation of the neighborhood and ultimately a decrease in homeowners’ property values.

Not too much good to look forward to here. And you wonder why over 1,100 residents either signed a door-to-door or on-line petition to deny the proposed project, submitted numerous letters to the Medford Planning Department, and testified at four hearings.

Looking at the bigger picture: This Christmas season, I would like to appeal to new owners and all interested partners of the proposed Circle K project to show a little heart and rethink your plans. If, in fact, the lot retains its community-commercial zoning status, the local residents would hope the owners would possibly create a mix of friendly retail and professional businesses, restaurants (no fast food) or a café/bakery that would complement and enhance the neighborhood and/or deed the property over to the city of Medford to develop a pedestrian-only nature park.

A Circle K project would ultimately be a detriment to the residents’ existing environment and way of living; it is neither a good nor common-sense answer as to how this valuable plot of land should be utilized. Furthermore, why would anyone with any sense of compassion put such a high-intensity usage project with a constant stream of vehicles coming and going across the street from a major senior living and care facility that is a place of peace and tranquility for those in the final stages of their respective lives, let alone all the homeowners and their families living around the proposed project.

Our hope, prayers and wish this holiday season would be for the owners to seek out a more suitable location in East Medford for a Circle K complex so we can, once and for all, again live in harmony and goodwill with one another.

Gary Sumrak lives in Medford.