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'We don’t need any more gas stations period' | Binghampton neighbors fight proposed gas station

Memphis has the second highest number of gas stations per capita in Tennessee, just behind Millington.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Binghampton residents and workers want to stop a proposed gas station from being built on the corner of Sam Cooper and Tillman. The property also fronts Broad Avenue. 

Opponents said Memphis has more gas stations per capital than almost every city in the state of Tennessee, with only Millington having more

Small shops line Broad Avenue and brand new apartments are under construction. However, it wasn't always thriving.  

The owner of Clifton Gallery has seen the evolution first hand. 

"The past 15 years we have had a lot of changes and we've really revitalized this area," said business owner Pat Brown.

Brown said the revitalization of the area is one reason why so many people don't want a gas station built. Residents fought off plans for another gas on the west end of Broad last year.

"This neighborhood has a very strong strategic plan that all the citizens came together and developed a couple years ago. And trust me there was never a mention of we want yet another gas station in this neighborhood," said Brown.

"There are too many gas stations in Memphis for one. There are too many gas stations in this neighborhood, number two. Number three: there are too many gas stations on Tillman. We don’t need any more gas stations period," said Binghampton resident Joni Laney.

Project opponents said within one mile of the proposed gas station, there are already 15 gas stations open for business. 

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"There is a gas station right behind us. There is no reason to build another gas station here. Our community needs a grocery store and other things that help enhance the health and wellbeing of our neighbors," said business owner Kristin Fox Trautman. 

"15, 16 is enough. The density of them is inexcusable. It is detracting from the value of the neighborhood," said resident Vaughan Dewar.

The development proposal has gas pumps, several shops, and a plaza. The city planner suggested rejecting the proposal, saying it is inconsistent with the Memphis 3.0 plan for the neighborhood. 

Earlier this month, the developer went before the Memphis City Council and told council members he has support for project approval and it will add value to the neighborhood.

"So we think we've got a great plan. We've got a very good product before you. I think it will be a great success," said John Behnke, developer.

The council delayed voting until November 2, 2021, and suggested the developer meet with residents about their concerns.

Brown said she'll listen, but there probably is nothing that can be said to change her mind.

"That is not the gateway we need for the eastern side of Binghampton," said Brown.