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A Colorado city is looking to restrict new gas stations. Here's why

A proposal before Louisville’s city council would cap the number of gas stations in the city at only six, keeping open the possibility for a seventh gas station under specific circumstances.
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Posted at 7:50 AM, Mar 21, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-21 23:51:13-04

LOUISVILLE, Colo -- — A proposal before Louisville’s city councilwould cap the number of gas stations in the city at only six, keeping open the possibility for a seventh gas station under specific circumstances.

The proposal, according to supporters, is an effort to combat climate change and follows an emergency moratorium on the construction of new gas stations that passed last fall and lasts through September 2023.

The proposal would allow for an additional gas station to be constructed if it was part of a new, large retail center and would also require at least a 1,000-foot distance between new and existing gas stations, according to the council agenda.

Proposed ordinance 1851 would also outline a requirement to install electric vehicle charging stations as part of a new gas station.

This latest move follows the council passing last fall a moratorium that halted the construction of new gas stations through September 20, 2023. During that debate, Louisville Ward 2 Councilmember Maxine Most told Denver7 it was an effort to commit to sustainability.

"We are responding to the climate crisis, we're responding to citizens' concerns about how our community is moving forward relative to the climate crisis and what kind of steps we're going to take as a community to ensure that our commitment to sustainability, and our commitment to the to the future of our children is considered before we take any additional steps," Most said.

"Any community in the state of Colorado understands the impact of a climate crisis because we just lost 560 plus homes to a massive wildfire on the 30th of December when we should have had two feet of snow on the ground."

Louisville city Councilmembers Chris Leh and Dennis Maloney both voted against the emergency moratorium, calling into the question the process to pass it.

There was mixed reaction from residents at the time. "I think this pause button allows us to do more research, understand evidence of need and to align our planning with our climate action goals," one Louisville resident said.

Others like Jeff Sheets, vice president of sales and acquisitions at Koelbel and Co, which submitted an application to build a new gas station in Louisville, said the moratorium may not serve the city's bottom line.

Following a staff presentation the public is invited to speak at the council meeting Tuesday at 6 p.m. at City Hall located at 749 Main Street.

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