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San Ramon: Resident group sues city over Costco gas station approval

Petition argues city's environmental review insufficient, seeks to halt project

Rendering shows design concept for the Costco gas station set to be built on Fostoria Way in San Ramon, across the street from the Costco Wholesale store in the Danville town limits. (Image courtesy of city of San Ramon)

A collection of residents have filed a lawsuit against the city of San Ramon over its approval of a 32-pump Costco gas station near the Danville border, arguing that the project needs to be more thoroughly reviewed for environmental impacts.

The gas station is set to be located at the site of the Office Depot building on 3111 Fostoria Way, in San Ramon. (Photo by Ryan J. Degan)

Submitted to the Contra Costa County Superior Court on March 19 on behalf of citizen group Safer San Ramon, the suit contends that -- contrary to the city's claim -- the project is not exempt from review from the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), due to the significant impacts the project would have on the area.

"There is no substantial evidence in the record before the city to support the city's finding that the project would not result in any significant effects relating to traffic, noise, air quality or water quality. There is substantial evidence before the city that the project will in fact result in significant effects relating to traffic, noise, air quality and/or water quality," reads the lawsuit by Safer San Ramon -- an unincorporated group of residents from both Danville and San Ramon who say they would be affected by the project.

Petitioners are seeking to have the court set aside the City Council's approval of the project and force the city to reconsider after a full CEQA review has been conducted.

In addition to a desire for further review under the state's environmental protection act, petitioners have taken issue with perceived traffic, noise and air quality concerns that would result from the project.

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Officials from the city of San Ramon did not respond to requests for comment about the merits of the lawsuit on Tuesday. During the public review process, the city determined that the in-fill project was exempt from CEQA based on the ultimately less than significant effects it would have on the area.

Safer San Ramon is the same residential group responsible for filing an appeal over the project back in January, citing similar environmental concerns over traffic, air quality and noise concerns, further believing at that time that studies on the project's environmental effects were not sufficiently explored.

Initially approved by the San Ramon Planning Commission on Dec. 15 and then upheld by the City Council on Feb. 11, the 32-pump gas station is designed to replace the Office Depot site on Fostoria Way in San Ramon and service the Costco Wholesale store located across the street within the Danville town limits.

The project would also include a 12,663-square-foot canopy with signage on all sides, three 40,000-gallon underground storage tanks, one 1,500 underground storage tank, an approximately 200-square-foot control facility and associated site improvements and landscape enhancement on the 2.88-acre lot.

Safer San Ramon is being represented by M.R. Wolfe and Associates, which is the same law firm representing Pleasanton Citizens for Responsible Growth in their lawsuit against the city of Pleasanton over approvals for the Johnson Drive Economic Development Zone, including a proposed new Costco store with gas station, just south of the I-680 and I-580 interchange. That case has advanced to the state appellate court after PCRG challenged an Alameda County Superior Court judge's rejection of its petition.

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San Ramon: Resident group sues city over Costco gas station approval

Petition argues city's environmental review insufficient, seeks to halt project

by / Danville San Ramon

Uploaded: Tue, Apr 13, 2021, 4:52 pm
Updated: Wed, Apr 14, 2021, 10:12 am

A collection of residents have filed a lawsuit against the city of San Ramon over its approval of a 32-pump Costco gas station near the Danville border, arguing that the project needs to be more thoroughly reviewed for environmental impacts.

Submitted to the Contra Costa County Superior Court on March 19 on behalf of citizen group Safer San Ramon, the suit contends that -- contrary to the city's claim -- the project is not exempt from review from the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), due to the significant impacts the project would have on the area.

"There is no substantial evidence in the record before the city to support the city's finding that the project would not result in any significant effects relating to traffic, noise, air quality or water quality. There is substantial evidence before the city that the project will in fact result in significant effects relating to traffic, noise, air quality and/or water quality," reads the lawsuit by Safer San Ramon -- an unincorporated group of residents from both Danville and San Ramon who say they would be affected by the project.

Petitioners are seeking to have the court set aside the City Council's approval of the project and force the city to reconsider after a full CEQA review has been conducted.

In addition to a desire for further review under the state's environmental protection act, petitioners have taken issue with perceived traffic, noise and air quality concerns that would result from the project.

Officials from the city of San Ramon did not respond to requests for comment about the merits of the lawsuit on Tuesday. During the public review process, the city determined that the in-fill project was exempt from CEQA based on the ultimately less than significant effects it would have on the area.

Safer San Ramon is the same residential group responsible for filing an appeal over the project back in January, citing similar environmental concerns over traffic, air quality and noise concerns, further believing at that time that studies on the project's environmental effects were not sufficiently explored.

Initially approved by the San Ramon Planning Commission on Dec. 15 and then upheld by the City Council on Feb. 11, the 32-pump gas station is designed to replace the Office Depot site on Fostoria Way in San Ramon and service the Costco Wholesale store located across the street within the Danville town limits.

The project would also include a 12,663-square-foot canopy with signage on all sides, three 40,000-gallon underground storage tanks, one 1,500 underground storage tank, an approximately 200-square-foot control facility and associated site improvements and landscape enhancement on the 2.88-acre lot.

Safer San Ramon is being represented by M.R. Wolfe and Associates, which is the same law firm representing Pleasanton Citizens for Responsible Growth in their lawsuit against the city of Pleasanton over approvals for the Johnson Drive Economic Development Zone, including a proposed new Costco store with gas station, just south of the I-680 and I-580 interchange. That case has advanced to the state appellate court after PCRG challenged an Alameda County Superior Court judge's rejection of its petition.

Comments

Paul Clark
Registered user
Danville
on Apr 14, 2021 at 9:22 am
Paul Clark, Danville
Registered user
on Apr 14, 2021 at 9:22 am

Note to Costco:

Just put the Gas Station in your current parking lot in Danville, and put additional parking across the street in San Ramon. Since the property across the street is mostly a parking lot already, no one has any legal cause of action. Looking forward to purchasing gasoline from your new station wherever you end up locating it.


Kjgamble
Registered user
San Ramon
on Apr 14, 2021 at 9:27 am
Kjgamble, San Ramon
Registered user
on Apr 14, 2021 at 9:27 am

Great job! Stop the over-development of San Ramon. When was the last time there was an issue with waiting in line for gas? Never! Like San Ramon needs 32 more gas pumps when environmentally we are supposed to be moving in the opposite direction?? Why not build a park? The kids don’t have enough space for all their sports activities. Now that would enhance San Ramon-not more commercial and high density projects. Ugh.


Dan
Registered user
San Ramon
on Apr 14, 2021 at 1:38 pm
Dan, San Ramon
Registered user
on Apr 14, 2021 at 1:38 pm

The city should be taking a longer term view on transportation. There's no reason to be building additional gas stations when we should be pushing for non-carbon based transportation options. There are plenty of gas stations to serve the area. I fully support this lawsuit.


Nebuchadnezzar
Registered user
San Ramon
on Apr 15, 2021 at 9:15 pm
Nebuchadnezzar, San Ramon
Registered user
on Apr 15, 2021 at 9:15 pm

The competition is going to drive out the corporate giants that have a stranglehold on gas prices in San Ramon for decades. I am all for competition!! Beef up SRPD to keep undesirable elements from other parts of the bay area coming into San Ramon. Use the extra tax revenue to improve our neighborhoods and streets. Pay for enhanced surveillance equipment such as license plate readers and a crime and gang prevention unit in SRPD. Pay our teachers more. Improve school safety


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