New Drive Thru Convenience Store Problematic for Residents

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CHIPLEY A new drive through convenience store is coming to Chipley, but some neighbors say it's going to be an inconvenience to them. They say the store will do more harm than good.

Winona Vanlandingham has lived on Chesnut Hill Street for more than 70 years, and in that time she's seen a lot of changes.

"We realize change is inevitable,” she explained. “We know that. The life is in it, you know, change, but there are some things that do not have to get to the point where they make other folks lives miserable."

That change involves plans for a drive through convenience store near the intersection of Chestnut Hill and Highway 77.

"The intersection where this business is going in is already a very hazardous intersection, and the traffic on this street is very heavy,” explained Roger Vanlandingham. “This type business can only greatly increase the traffic problem."

City commissioners approved plans for the store in June.

Residents claim they did not receive any notification from the city about the proposal, but that's only part of the problem.

Residents along Chesnut Hill Street said they are not oppose to the store in the area, but said having it on their road will leave negative lasting consequences.

"Nobody's gonna wanna live here! In fact, I can see my property values plummeting, and that bothers me, because we've worked hard for what we have,” said Winona.

The city denied the residents' requests to build a fence and block customers from coming onto their street.

So Vanlandingham is appealing to a higher authority.

"I never give up on something that I felt was right. I always turn my things over to God and he handles it," Winona explained.

City officials declined to comment for this story. The store is scheduled to open later this year.