Following a three-hour debate that stretched past 1 a.m. Friday, the Sacramento Planning and Design Commission approved a controversial proposal for a large gas station in the Curtis Park Village development.
By an 8-3 vote, the commission gave the go-ahead to developer Paul Petrovich to build a 16-pump fuel center that would likely be operated by Safeway.
Several residents of Curtis Park spoke against the plan, and some booed following the commission vote. The commission’s approval likely will be appealed to the City Council.
Representatives of building groups and labor unions spoke in favor of the gas station. Safeway is a unionized grocer and Petrovich has said that if the fuel center plan is denied, he will instead build a nonunion discount grocery store on the site.
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Petrovich said he has spent more than a decade and $30 million cleaning up the former railyard site off Sutterville Road in anticipation of building more than 500 homes and 230,000 square feet of retail. He said he has met “every single condition” placed on his company by the neighborhood and city.
Responding to fears that the fuel center would lead to traffic jams, Petrovich said a study showed that total automobile trips to the development would be 35 percent less than what the project was approved for, even with a gas station. A health assessment for the site also “concluded that the estimated cancer risk (caused by the station) would be within an acceptable range and would be below the California Environmental Quality Act thresholds of significance,” according to a city staff report.
Among those raising concerns about the gas station were Mike Wiley, the general manager of Regional Transit, and Kirk Trost, an executive with the Sacramento Area Council of Governments.
“A fueling center this size will not encourage transit use in this neighborhood, but will attract auto use,” Wiley said.
Curtis Park residents have also argued there are plenty of gas stations in neighboring areas.