Letter: Let’s Be Honest About RaceTrac

Editor’s note: The following letter is in response to the letter “Time For Honesty About RaceTrac” by Richard Nielsen published Dec. 11.

Richard Nielsen writes that, “The recent debacle and protest by special competitive interests led by at least one person with a political agenda makes the proposal to create a RaceTrac gas station on Royal Palm Beach Blvd. curiously complicated.”

Be honest! Both sides of the RaceTrac issue have political agendas. In my opinion, at least four of the good old boys on the Royal Palm Beach Village Council only want to do the RaceTrac property owners a big financial favor. But they ran into Royal Palm Beach residents and small business owners who see the 20-pump RaceTrac truck stop as a bad and dangerous decision. This then encouraged three women to step up and challenge the “boys” with new blood and better visions for the village.

Richard then writes, “There has been no legal reason given why this proposal cannot go forward… There exists a level of hypocrisy that suggests that the land use for a gas station would be improper…”

Be honest! There are legal reasons to question this proposal and deny it! It takes a “Special Exception Use” change for the land to allow an automotive service station to legally use this property. Secondly, a better fitting six-pump real automotive service station was brought to the council in 2003. Some of the same good old boys back then decided it should be denied. In a document to that owner, it was written that “a gas station is not consistent with their (the village mayor and council) vision for the entry to the village.” So, the real hypocrisy is that RaceTrac is now being approved, because, in my opinion, of who the current applicants are.

Also consider that there is the Royal Palm Beach Blvd. access off Southern Blvd. How much taxpayer money will the village be spending to make the road/lane changes, remove thousands of dollars of landscaping, and then put in new landscaping for this property?

Lastly Richard adds: The location has limited appeal for businesses, as evident by the failure of two banks to survive there.

Be honest! Your bank failure comment is twisting the facts. Riverside Bank failed and the branches went to TD Bank, who closed excess branches including the Royal Palm Beach branch. Try this thought: maybe the price TD Bank placed on the land and building is unreasonable?

It looks to me that Royal Palm Beach residents and business owners uncovered some of the good old boys backroom dealings and should be applauded. My thought is replace the mayor and two council boys on March 15, and take a step toward a more open and honest Royal Palm Beach.

David Kline, Royal Palm Beach