Real Estate News

Developer proposes moving Curtis Park fuel center farther from homes

The new Safeway will be built in the dirt lot across the street from The Brownstones at Curtis Park Village.
The new Safeway will be built in the dirt lot across the street from The Brownstones at Curtis Park Village.

A controversial 16-pump gas station remains part of Sacramento’s planned Curtis Park Village development, but the developer has proposed a new location on the shopping center site farther from homes.

The Sacramento City Council had been scheduled to consider Thursday whether to allow a Safeway-operated fuel center that has been opposed by neighborhood residents and public-transit advocates. The matter was being appealed to the council after the Planning and Design Commission approved developer Paul Petrovich’s project in June.

But the Thursday hearing has been postponed to give staff time to review the new plan, according to acting senior planner Antonio Ablog.

Petrovich Development Co. proposes to move the gas station from the original site along Crocker Drive to a site at the southwest corner of the shopping center, near the Sutterville Bridge. The new location would be next to the planned Safeway store and approximately 500 feet from the nearest homes on the east side of Crocker Drive, according to a letter to city planners from Philip Harvey, Petrovich Development’s senior vice president for development. He said access to the gas station will be from the shopping center parking lot.

Ablog said the developer indicated the changes were in response to concerns raised by planning commissioners about the proximity of the initial site to homes. Petrovich Development representatives did not return a call for comment Monday.

Curtis Park Village, a development planned on the former Union Pacific rail yard east of Sacramento City College, was approved by the Sacramento City Council in September 2010. The developer received approval for 189 single-family homes, 248 multiple-family housing units and 90 units of affordable senior housing, as well as 259,000 square feet of commercial space. The shopping center zoning allows for a gas station, subject to a conditional use permit.

The Planning and Design Commission voted 8-3 on June 11 to approve the shopping center project with the gas station, and an appeal of that decision was filed June 19. Representatives of building groups and labor unions have spoken in favor of the gas station, which Safeway officials have said the store must have to be competitive.

But a number of area residents, as well as representatives of Regional Transit, have opposed the gas station, arguing that it is not in keeping with the concept of a transit-oriented development. Neighborhood residents have said it would lead to traffic problems and damage the quality and charm of their neighborhood.

Steve Berndt, Safeway’s corporate vice president for real estate, speaking to an overflow crowd during a neighborhood meeting at the Sierra 2 Center in January, said that without the gas station, Safeway wouldn’t locate at the center. Berndt said it was expected that Raley’s would include a gas station with a grocery store planned at the former Capital Nursery site on Freeport Boulevard, and Safeway would have to have a gas station to compete.

Raley’s has since submitted plans for a new 55,000-square-foot supermarket at 4850 Freeport Blvd. A company spokeswoman said it would not include a gas station.

Cathy Locke: 916-321-5287, @lockecathy

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