"Revised" shopping center still seeks special privileges
On June 22nd at 7:00pm in the Arden Dimick library the Arden Arcade Community Planniing Advisory Council (CPAC) will consider the proposal by the development firm of Merlone Geier to spruce up the Petsmart/Smart&Final/RiteAid shopping center at Arden and Watt. Following a firestorm of public outcry, the proposal has been revised since the CPAC workshop held in April. The changes are not well-aligned with pubic sentiment. The sign heights are a wee bit lower, one of the fast-food drive-throughs has been eliminated, and the wood fence is being replaced with a precast masonry wall like the one at Quick Quack that the neighbors say is worthless. But the developer still wants the County to grant four variances and is seeking drive-through fast-food conditional use permits for the two southernmost parcels that are between Petsmart and Arden Way. Readers of this blog know that variances can only be allowed if a parcel (the land itself) has special circumstances, none of which exist at the site's three parcels. By contrast, a conditional use permit (C.U.P.) is fairly routine. With a C.U.P. a developer can do essentially whatever the County says is OK. For a fast-food drive-through, a C.U.P. usually involves hours of operation and noise levels. So if citizens object to evening disturbances and disruptive noises, the County could limit loudspeaker placement and require drive-through operations to cease at a specific time. ...Good luck with that, by the way.
Documents associated with the proposal are posted on the County's project viewer and can be found by searching for "Arden Creek Town Center -- New pads and parking improvements