Bethany Lake Chevron: Appeal, Explosion, Parody
All in this edition - gas station developer Bob Barman intends to appeal his own approved Chevron at Bethany Lake, a gas truck delivery explosion, a new parody website, and the calming sounds of water. Should be fun, read on!
In a surprise move, the developer Bob Barman has filed an intent to appeal the Hearings Officer’s decision that concluded:
- Bob can build his gas station as designed with 8 pumps, 40,000 gallons of storage, a drive through, and convenience store.
- Bob must pay for the required “half street” improvements to West Union as required by Washington County code.
Bob and team haven’t said what they plan to appeal but the chances are very good that they are unhappy they need to pay for the improvements that are necessary to West Union to handle the increased traffic from their development and driveway clearances for gas delivery. When I learn what the appeal terms are I will let y’all know.
All that said after much deliberation we, the handful of leaders on this campaign, decided not to file an appeal. We felt Bob Barman, the developer, got exactly what the Washington County code allows, nothing more or less.
A “Great” Neighbor
This Notice to Appeal comes despite Bob saying to the Beaverton Valley Times on Feb 1st, just two weeks before filing the appeal, that:
“We’re very happy,” Barman said. “We’re going to be great neighbors, just like we are in Beaverton and Woodburn. We’re excited.” (source)
I think being a great neighbor starts with following the rules, listening to neighbors, and paying your dues, but Bob’s actions haven’t met my definition:
- In the withdrawn application from 2021 Bob asked for a setback variance, essentially asking the County to grant them more space on the property, because otherwise the “… smaller building footprint would significantly impact financial feasibility of the project and render the proposed use of the site as a retail market and fueling station unviable” e.g. we want the County to bend the rules, enabling us to store and pump more fuel, so we can make more money. (source)
- During a public hearing on March 2022 Bob Barman and team refused to listen to community statements (source)
- In this most recent application from 2022, making misleading traffic calculations to try and wriggle out of the explicitly required half street improvement for West Union (source pg 62)
I respect that this is all business for Bob but he is trying to have it both ways: he relentlessly explores every avenue to shift risk and cost to the public to maximize his potential profit from this development while also publicly trying to appear to be an aww-shucks friendly small business neighbor.
Eco-friendly Gas Station
In the same Beaverton Valley Times article from Feb 1st, 2023 Bob was quoted as calling this an eco-friendly gas station.
This is Barman’s third “eco-friendly” Chevron gas station in the Portland metro area, including one at Southwest Allen and Murray boulevards in Beaverton’s Highland neighborhood. (source)
Between the “good neighbor” quote above and this “eco-friendly” claim Bob is moving this discussion about the Bethany Lake gas station from a procedural land use thing into a court of public opinion thing. And, unfortunately, he has a heck of a good head-start: Bob and his team have gotten this “eco-friendly gas station” claim covered by KGW, The Oregonian, Woodburn Tribune, the Beaverton Valley Times, and countless industry journals in the last 12 or so years.
But, I believe his “eco-friendly” claim is tenuous at best and paltering at worst and it is a claim that needs to be corrected, refuted, and shunned. At first I felt a 250 word Letter to the Editor would be sufficient. However, I had too much to say and too much data to support my opinion.
So, what I did instead was channel the spirit of the finest news source in the world, The Onion, and write a parody. I hope you will give it a read and share with friends.
Make some noise
We need to ensure that Bob Barman is remembered as the last person to get a gas station approved next to sensitive areas in Washington County. On December 21st 2022, I sent an updated letter requesting gas station siting restrictions to Washington County Commissioners co-signed by 283 residents from across all districts in the County. Can we get to 300? Let’s keep the pressure up!
Are you upset, annoyed, perturbed, incensed, or otherwise uncomfortable with what you just read? Take action now:
- Share this email with a friend in Washington County!
- Read the Gas Station Setback Petition
- Email email@example.com to sign the petition
- Write a letter to the editor
- Contact the Board of County Commissioners
P.S. Gas station delivery goes wrong: watch a delivery mistake at a gas station and convenience store from Bloomfield, Missouri. Spoiler: the delivery truck explodes video.
P.P.S No ducks this week but I have the calming sounds of water spilling out of Bethany Lake and continuing down the creek. Check it out