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Convenience store plans irk neighbor

ALBANY -- Contending that convenience stores attract crime and all manner of malcontents, a local business owner pleaded with Albany city commissioners Tuesday to block a move to put in a new convenience store and gas station next to her business on West Oglethorpe Boulevard.

The Historic Preservation Commission approved the application of Jitendrah and Jagdishbhai Patel's request for the design of a new convenience store and sign on the 400 block of West Oglethorpe Boulevard October 5.

While the Patels can build the store at the location, the commission has the final say on the design of the building and signage, Planning Director Mary Teter told commissioners Tuesday.

Legally, if the building is properly permitted and zoned properly, the commission has no authority to prevent it from being built, Teter said.

That didn't stop Lula Davis from passionately voicing her opposition to the store building adjacent to her property.

"I don't think that's the highest and best use for that property," Davis said. "Look at other convenience stores. I see loitering; I see thefts and robberies; I see there being an interference with my business."

After consulting with its planning department and listening to Davis' concerns, the commission voted 5-0 to approve the Patels' design which will pave the way for construction to begin at the location.