On a very hot Saturday afternoon there was finally a bit of signage outside of Safeway letting people know there was a gas station in the works! Considering so few people know this is even still happening, I was happy to see something. Though, by the time I was done shopping, the man (not pictured) and his signage were gone. It was pretty stinking hot Saturday, I wouldn't want to be out there.
Neighbors and Concerned Citizens,
This upcoming Tuesday, the 26th, the Petaluma Planning Commission will meet to discuss, and potentially decide on, the fate of the Safeway Gas Station.
The meeting will take place at 7:00 pm at Petaluma City Hall, 11 English Street. There will be an opportunity for public comment. If you can attend, and would like to speak, fill out a yellow half sheet of paper at the back of the room and submit it to the recorder at the front of the room.
If you cannot attend, or don't do well in public speaking situations, you can also email your comments to the planning commission at this email address:
Here are some topics/talking points to consider in your speech and/or email;
-The increased traffic to an already congested area by people attracted to the area by "discount gas".
-The lure of discounted gas will likely pull people off HWY 101, increasing congestion at the E. Washington and McDowell Blvd. intersection.
-The potential dangers of the increased traffic to pedestrians, bicyclists, and children attending the schools and little league fields.
-The proximity of the gas station to the Eastside Transit Center, with upwards of 4 buses navigating the same roads as gas patrons every half hour on the hour.
-The proximity of the gas station to the nursery school, preschool, elementary school, and little league fields.
-The affects of the increased air pollution on the vulnerable lungs of the users of the aforementioned areas.
-The possibility of 8 lines of idling cars waiting to get gas (similar to getting gas at Costco)
-That there isn't a need for another gas station in this area as there is already a 12 pump station (Chevron) in the shopping center, as well as 4 other gas stations within a mile on McDowell Blvd. and E. Washington.
-There is a residential area directly across the street.
-The possibility that that the Chevron and the 76 stations could go out of business leaving abandoned buildings and blight.
This is democracy in action and a chance for your voice to be heard. This isn't going to a cakewalk. Safeway has the money, the power and the resources to permanently alter the health and well being of our community all for the sake of cheaper gas.
Good morning. Here's a copy of the letter I wrote to Fulcrum Management (owners of the shopping center), Mayor Glass, and all six city council members:
Good morning. I am writing to express my concerns about a potential Safeway Gas Station on the corner of S. McDowell/Maria Drive. This is a crowded, busy corner, already in traffic gridlock with all the new apartment buildings on Maria. This location is DIRECTLY across from 4Cs Preschool and playground, McDowell Elementary School, numerous homes on McDowell and McKenzie, the Little League field, a busy bus stop and McDowell Park. Many children cross the street here.
The wind blows toward the schools. I have searched "Childhood Leukemia Rates for Children living or going to school near gas stations". It is alarming! Not to mention asthma or chemical or respiratory issues.
Is there anywhere else they can locate this gas station? Can they possibly buy out the existing Chevron station? Safeway is a business. What people don't realize is they raise their grocery prices to subsidize the lower gas prices. Or they count on people buying high-priced junk food in the convenience store.
I have not been able to find the answer to this question: "What are the California regulations of how many feet away a gas station can be built in proximity to schools and homes?" I would appreciate an answer to this.
I vote for the health of our Petaluma children. I value our children and grandchildren over saving a few bucks at the pump. PLEASE don't let this gas station cause illnesses, cause more gridlock, cause trauma to the neighbors, and ruin that corner. It would be a BIG MISTAKE.
Thanks. I would appreciate a reply.
Any public comments of concerns should be directed to the Planning Commission with specified reasons. "Change" is not going to happen at the SAFEWAY's "community" outreach.
Another neighbor, Oliver, was nice enough to print up flyers. Last night, my baby and I pounded the pavement. It was nice getting out and chatting with neighbors beyond my usual few houses. So far, no one is in favor of the gas station.
We went to the Safeway "Community Outreach" meeting on Tuesday. It was a big disappointment. I think one of the biggest things about the whole project is the lack of community involvement. Safeway wasn't required to do any outreach, so they didn't until the Planning Commission suggested it at the last meeting back in May. Tuesday's Outreach meeting and the one scheduled for tomorrow morning technically fulfill that, but there seems to be a lack of actual outreach. Particularly in the signage around the proposed site. I took some pictures as I was walking home from the meeting. Unless you look really closely, you can't tell anything is happening there at all.