Wawa, the convenience store and gas station chain drumming up a lot of excitement as it expands across South Florida, generally receives positive attention, but residents in one Lantana neighborhood are fighting to stop it from moving in.
The company is asking for a zoning change so that it can put in a new Wawa store at the corner of Hypoluxo and High Ridge. The vacant lot developers are eyeing is surrounded by homes and an organic mango farm that's been in business since the 1940's.
"We like Wawa," says nearby homeowner Aleen Rosenheim, "But we don't like them here."
Rosenheim's house is right across the street from the lot Wawa developers want to build in.
"It would be a lot of traffic, high density, open 24 hours with noise and music," she says.
Over the weekend the Palm Beach County Commission got a lot of complaint emails, asking commissioners not to allow a Wawa at the proposed location.
"We already have so many stations we don't need another one, even if it is Wawa," says Marilynn Hatcher, who runs Hatcher Mango Hill.
Hatcher says she encouraged nearly 2,000 customers who buy mangos from her farm to send in the emails. She says the traffic a Wawa would bring in would be too much for this area's roads to handle, and she worries about that the pollution from the extra car fumes would do to her organic fruit.
"They get stressed out sometimes from all of the pollution we're already getting," Hatcher says. "They don't need more."
A zoning change would be required for a Wawa to be put in at the Hypoluxo Road location. It would need approval from county commissioners, who plan to meet to discuss whether or not to move forward with the idea.