|Kati Guerra w/her parrot Izzy|
Hello, I’m Kati Guerra. My partner, Felicia Foland, and I moved into a beautifully renovated
home on the 6800 block of Fyler at the beginning of January. It has been a pleasure to meet many of our
new neighbors and to settle into this neighborhood of families, community-minded churches,
and small businesses. Needless to say, it came as a great surprise to learn of the Circle K
expansion plans in February. Should the Circle K gain a liquor license and go through with its
plans, they will be our new, very big, bright, and loud neighbors to the west! While this is not
what we signed up for when we bought our home, this is a matter of great important which is at
hand and one which we wish to handle as skillfully as possible.
Needless to say, we have many concerns about what such an expansion will mean for us and
our near neighbors, namely those within the 350 ft petition circle
. We worry about the
devaluation of our homes due to increased light, noise, and air pollution, the increased traffic
congestion at an already problematic intersection, and the great potential for Circle K’s negligent
management to worsen with an larger footprint. Many of our neighbors share the same
concerns, as is evidenced by the yard signs you may see in and around Fyler and Bradley
However, our concerns also extend to the larger neighborhood. The idea that a large
multinational corporate enterprise such as Circle K wants expand into property zoned residential
brings up another concern which I wish to share with you.
We have been told by Circle K’s representatives that their store at Jamieson and Fyler is a very
successful business. This is due to the fact that Jamieson Ave is a major traffic artery with
intersections at I-44 and Arsenal on one end, and Chippewa and Hampton on the other,
bisecting several South Side neighborhoods. It is for this reason that Circle K sees an
advantage in expanding their operation and selling liquor.
Currently, the only businesses along Jamieson Ave. between Arsenal and Chippewa are family owned,
“Mom and Pop” businesses such as Anmar Photography
, Yoga St. Louis
, Mom’s Deli
Southwest Family Chiropractic
, and Lindenwood Drug
. These small-scale enterprises fit
seamlessly within the residential character of our neighborhood. If Circle K is allowed to rezone
another residential lot and expand, the “small gas station on the corner” will become a Mega- Gas Station. The further expansion into residential property will establish a precedent for the
Jamieson Ave corridor, setting the stage for similar large-scale businesses to develop on this
heavily travelled thoroughfare, much the way we have seen development on Chippewa,
Hampton, and Watson.
As neighbors who live within close proximity to this corridor, I suggest we ask, “Do we want
greater business development on Jamieson Avenue?” and “If so, what kind of businesses would
fit our residential needs and character?” These are questions which we must ask ourselves as
we consider the Circle K expansion plan. It is my belief that it is very important for a
neighborhood like ours to define its vision for itself before others do it for us.
At a recent block captain meeting of the Lindenwood Park Neighboorhood Association,
President Janet Desnoyer expressed the association’s interest in establishing a Commercial
Development Plan for Lindenwood Park. I believe this is a very good idea.
Many of the best and sought-after neighborhoods in the city have developed and executed
these plans with great success. The neighborhood association in tandem with city officials can
work together to attract and keep the kind of business enterprises that fit the neighborhoods
From our perspective, these should be the kind of businesses which enrich the character of the
neighborhood and make it more attractive to greater residential property development
commercial developments should not be of a scale which require considerable rezoning of
residential property to commercial, causing adjoining residential property depreciation. These
should also be the kind of businesses which attract the interest of residents throughout the city.
This neighborhood-positive kind of development can be seen in the recent rise of the Macklind Business District
and there are many other examples throughout the city. Developments which
enhance a neighborhood and invite residential investment are a win-win for both neighborhoods
and businesses alike.
LPNA will be hosting a public meeting
at Timothy Lutheran on April 27th starting at 7:00pm.
Circle K representatives will lay out their plan and answer questions. If you or your neighbors
plan to attend, please keep these ideas about the future of Jamieson Avenue in mind. If you are
in the liquor license petition circle, I strongly urge you to not sign their liquor license petition.
Please do not allow a mega gas station to swallow residential property and alter the character of
Jamieson Avenue and the neighborhood, possibly forever. We all want to see the Circle K
property improved and be a prosperous asset for them, but there is no reason they cannot work
within their current property lines and services to do so. In this way, everyone would stand to
gain something of value.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
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