Prospect of Kroger gas station angers neighbors

Posted at 12:30 AM, May 02, 2012
and last updated 2012-05-02 15:28:51-04

HENRICO, Va. (WTVR)--A battle brews between people who live in one local Henrico neighborhood, and the new grocery store nearby.

This new Kroger, at 91,000 square feet, wants to put in a gas station, but neighbors say they were promised this would never happen.

Jan Hansen, who has been living in his Short Pump home for more than twenty years, was all for the development of Short Pump Town Center and even big box stores in the area.

But what Hansen says he what he won't stand for is a gas station

"They're going to be in for a fight if they put a service station there,” he said.

According to Henrico's planning commission. Kroger promised to never offer fuel with food when building this store, like it does at other locations.

But commission members told CBS 6 that the grocery chain changed its mind, and they're also working to change the minds of people living nearby.

"I don' trust them to keep their word,” said Hansen.

Hansen isn't the only one who has an online petition is circulating to challenge Kroger’s change of heart.

But, the grocery store isn't giving up without a fight. It also started a petition, asking for supporters to sign up.
Hansen just doesn't want what he believes a gas station would attract; “the noise, the robberies.”

"Business wise, they work hand in,” said Jim Scanlon, Martin's regional vice-president. Martin’s opened up their first service station in Central Virginia this week and the company plans to open more.

We also stopped at one of Kroger’s other locations, where we found this woman who drove across town just for the discount at the pump.

"Just a little bit goes a long way. Every dollar counts,” she said.