Yesterday there was a celebration for the opening of the Murphy Road Bridge.
Today, rising opposition to a proposed gas station on Murphy Road near the new bridge.
GP Energy is proposing to build a gas station, brew pub, food cart lot and two drive through restaurants on the corner of Murphy and Brosterhous roads in southeast Bend.
“We’d like to make it fit well and bring all the services that the neighborhood is looking for,” said Casey Hayes of GP Energy during an October 20 neighborhood meeting conducted via Zoom.
But the proposed gas station is low on locals’ lists of possible improvements.
“This is a bigger gas station than Fred Meyer, and Fred Meyer is backed up all the time,” said Ken Atwell, Land Use Chair of the Southeast Bend Neigborhood Association. “You put a gas station that size here and you’ve got a problem.”
The developer has already held two neighborhood meetings via Zoom.
There is community interest in the proposed brew pub
“It was an option to operate somewhat similar to a Growler Guys and make that an add on, or we are open to tenants as well. We are fair game for anything,” Hayes said.
The nearly 3 acre vacant parcel is zoned Convenience Commercial, and the developer is pursuing a conditional use permit to allow the gas station and drive throughs.
“I’d love to see food trucks here. A grocery store and day care because Jewell Elementary is so close. That would be a great opportunity,” said Sara Moss, a southeast Bend resident.
Nearly one thousand neighbors have already signed a petition that says no to gas pumps but yes to a small grocery store or farmers market, coffee shop, book store, barbershop, hair salon or stores along those lines.
“Would you want a gas station here?,” asked Jill Wheeler.
“No,” responded her son Cabot Wheeler. “I don’t want to smell gas fumes.
Signs opposing the proposed gas station are popping up on fences near the project site.
Opponents say there will be more posters, yard signs, and signatures on a petition opposed to the gas station and other proposed vehicle intensive uses (https://www.change.org/p/bend-no-gas-station-brosterhous-murphy).
“We’ve spoken to hundreds of neighbors. They feel similarly,” Moss said. “They want a gathering place in southeast Bend. A gas station is a missed opportunity for that.”
During the neighborhood meetings, the applicant indicated it was planning to file a formal application in the coming weeks.
Until an application is submitted to the city, there is no file of the proposal on record for the public to review.