Planning Commission recommends approval of 7-11 at Howe & Hurley
On July 11, 2016 (that's right, 7/11 day, the day 7/11 gave out free slurpies!) the County Planning Commission unanimously recommended approval of the myriad use permits, special design permits (AKA variances) and design review conditions needed to squeeze the proposed 7-11 24-hour convenience store and gas station onto the small vacant lot at the NW corner of Howe and Hurley. As expected, the applicant made the project out to be some kind of mini-Whole Foods Market that will make fresh fruits and vegetables accessible to nearby residents (who are few and far between) and said the 7-11 Corporation was totally, 100% on board with the concept of security for customers. The Arden Arcade CPAC's recommended denial was briefly acknowledged, as if it did not really matter much. Community input in opposition to the project was also given, though it was very obvious that such input was of no importance to the Commissioners. The Commission also approved a finding of no environmental problems flowing from the project even though the intersection is well-known for nasty traffic jams.
All members of the Planning Commission are appointees. Three of them live in the City of Sacramento (Pocket, College Greens and Curtis Park) and one lives in the City of Citrus Heights. The only UnCity resident on the Commission lives in Gold River. Their unfamiliarity with the site---including not knowing about the existing Valero convenience store and gas station on the SE corner of the same intersection---was plain to see. All of the members disclosed that they had met with the applicant and one mentioned that he used to do real estate searches for the 7-11 Corporation. Still, the Commission's action was not final, rather it was just a recommendation. The Board of Supervisors has to give final approval because the Supervisors are tasked by law with making necessary findings as to Public Convenience and Necessity (PCN) for liquor sales. At the time of this post it remains unknown when the PCN hearing will be held.