Winter Garden families unhappy about proposed 7-Eleven gas station

By Sheli Muniz - Reporter

WINTER GARDEN, Fla. - Families are fighting to keep one of America's largest chains of gas stations from setting up shop in their backyard.

7-Eleven wants to build a new station on Windermere Road and Stoneybrook West Parkway in Winter Garden, just north of Lake Whitney Elementary School.

People who live there told Local 6 at a community meeting Wednesday night they are concerned about the traffic and how safe their kids would be near the community's school, little league ball park, and a neighborhood.

"If a 711 goes there, we will not be riding our bikes to school anymore," said one parent.

"The only reason 7-Eleven wants to go there is because they know that we will go and we will buy there, so we need to let them know that we won't," one resident said among a group of parents.

It's an area where kids bike, parents walk, and families jog. However, it's also an area zoned for commercial use.

Rebecca Wilson came to the meeting representing 7-Eleven, she told the neighbors, "The proposed access is limited to right in and right out only."

The station would have about six pumps and 3,000 square feet next to a neighborhood that 3,000 families are already calling home.

Families hope it stays that way.

"My eight-year-old says to me this evening when he knew I was coming, 'Ma, the only way I'll be able to get to school is if a plane parachutes me over because traffic is so bad. How are you going to get me there if a 7-Eleven opens?,'" said Denise Myton, a mother of two.

The meeting lasted about 3 hours. 7-Eleven said they would continue conversations with a small group of residents and move forward accordingly.

Residents said they hope common sense will prevail. They admit that money talks, so some have even talked about buying out the land or just boycotting the gas station once built.

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