The most controversial gas station plan to hit Sacramento in recent memory is getting a public airing at City Hall on Thursday.
The city planning commission is scheduled to vote on whether to grant a permit for a 16-pump fuel center operated by Safeway in the Curtis Park Village development. The gas station requires a conditional use permit because it is proposed for a shopping center zone. The meeting is scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m.
Some neighbors in Curtis Park have expressed concern – and outright rage – over developer Paul Petrovich’s plan to build the fuel center. They are worried about the traffic, health and environmental impacts of the station.
“We firmly believe that our neighborhood has more than enough gas stations in close proximity and we don’t need another one, especially not in this location,” Eric Johnson, president of the Sierra Curtis Neighborhood Association, wrote in a letter to city planners.
The gas station would sit on Crocker Road – the main thoroughfare through the development – about 425 feet from Sutterville Road. It would be situated in a planned shopping center anchoring the new neighborhood of more than 500 homes.
A city analysis determined that the added traffic caused by the fuel center would still fall below the amount considered when the development plan was adopted. A health assessment “concluded that the estimated cancer risk caused by the station would be within an acceptable range below the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) thresholds of significance,” according to a city staff report.
Petrovich Development and Safeway have said the grocery store chain will not build a store in Curtis Park Village if the gas station permit is denied. Instead, Petrovich has said he would build a nonunion, discount grocer. Earlier this year, a video produced by the company showed a virtual tour of the neighborhood without a Safeway, complete with a pawn shop, check cashing center and beer store. That video has since been taken down.
Petrovich declined comment Wednesday.
A city staff report on Thursday’s hearing includes several letters from neighborhood residents expressing their opposition to the gas station plan.
“I cannot believe that my City would allow this development to happen in one of the best neighborhoods in the United States,” wrote Curtis Park resident Vince Angell.
“OPPOSE, OPPOSE, OPPOSE.... as a resident of this neighborhood for 40 plus years, i cannot fathom why you would consider putting a 16 pump gas station into a long established neighborhood, this is not and never will be a major corridor!!!” wrote Diann Velaga.
Many residents also wrote letters in support of the proposal, citing the fuel center’s design and the jobs created by the project.
“With regard to the purposed (sic) Safeway market, I feel that it is very important to bring in a reputable company that will pay union wages, give benefits and employ people who hopefully may one day be able to afford to live in Curtis Park Village,” wrote Bruce Bolin, who identified himself as a former homeowner in Curtis Park. “Having a fueling station in that area will provide a convenience and a time saving way for many people to get their one stop shopping done in a very effective way.”