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June 20, 2015


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Most people haven't seen 19th-century maps of Pacifica, but in looking at one done in about 1870, a large inlet of water is seen clearly where the western edge of San Pedro Valley lies next to the ocean. That hasn't gone away; homeowners there have horrific moisture problems that require large moisture barriers to shield.

So the powers that be (the top dogs will be retired on generous pensions long before consequences are felt) propose a massive sewage holding tank there. Proceed with caution.

There are a lot of negative impacts associated with "convenience" stores:


Do we need two? Does one have to be in such a prominent location?

Mr. Jay Bird has an excellent point.

This city prides itself on adherence to a 1980 General Plan. One might argue that the writers were unfamiliar with DNA in that era, but they were remarkably detailed about their future goals for the city, and are frequently referenced by the planning commissioners, who do not always agree with the guide they are bound by.

It's a long 100-page PDF document (headache to view online; right-click and save it to your desktop) available here:

I've read the whole document a few times, so I'll pull out what's applicable to the Dave & Lou's and the Equalization Basin (Sewer Tank) at Linda Mar Park and Ride.

[NOTE: Page numbers are the PDF numbers, not the original pages for ease of document manipulation.]

-->Action Plans
------> Long term
"*1. The City should work with the State and County to develop acceptable scenic corridor plans for the Cabrillo (Coast) Highway (Route 1), Sharp Park Road, Skyline Boulevard (State Route 25) and Fassler from Coast Highway to Skyline.
*2 The City should work closely with citizens to establish a Local Scenic Route, such as the Linda Mar Boulevard-Oddstad Boulevard-Terra Nova Boulevard-Fassler Avenue route described in the
Scenic Highways Element."

--> Action Programs
------> Short Term
"*1. Seek outside assistance to study and correct the infiltration problem in the Linda Mar sewage collection system (CD)."

--> Action PRgrams
------> Short Term
"3. Views of open space are as important as access to open space.
Viewsheds should be identified (see Community Design Element, Scenic Highways Element) and protected (SH) (CD)."

Long story short, the General Plan wanted the Linda Mar/Cabrillo Highway to be a beautiful place. That it is not yet achieved 35 years later is largely irrelevant to planners, who would largely seek to improve the beauty and minimize the building footprint at that corner, not build a giant 7-Eleven double the height.

Mr. Jay Bird will see that even 45 years ago they were trying to solve the Linda Mar sewer intrusion problem even when the pipes were largely 25 years old, which actually adds credence to the idea that the flooding problem is not solvable by the Equalization Basin (thought its stated goal is solving sanitary sewage overflows or SSOs, and is largely unrelated to storm sewer/rainwater flooding).

If you think of Linda Mar (called "West Linda Mar" in the General Plan) as a bowl with the low spots as a drain, the easiest way to drain a bowl is to put a bigger hole in the bottom (equates to the idea that an additional dry side of the Cabrillo sewer force main to Calera Creek might solve the problem, and that the Equalization Basin might be best located at Calera Creek, where it could stockpile sewage in the day and run it through at 2 a.m. or whenever electricity was cheapest, truly "paying for itself" if any municipal projects are actually capable of that.

Again, thanks to Jay Bird.

The majority of 7-Eleven stores in the United States are franchises, as will be both the 700 Hickey location (scheduled February 2016 opening) and the 505 Linda Mar location (Dave & Lou's Valero station).

Per 7-Eleven, of the more than 7,800 stores the company operates and franchises in the United States, 6,400 are franchises or 82 percent, and almost all of them in California are franchises due to the high labor cost here.

Its model isn't a traditional franchise model. The company owns the ground, the building, and all the fixtures, and picks 85 percent of the merchandise. The franchisee owns 15 percent of the inventory and takes ~30-42 percent of the profits up to a ceiling, so a store that sells $2M of beer and wine might make the franchisee the same check as a store that sells $4M of beer and wine.

Franchised 7-Elevens in California employ an average of 7-8 people while non-franchised national locations employ almost double that number.

Per 7-Eleven Inc.'s Pacifica Applicant Katy Schardt (who really works for Compass Commercial Group, housed at Brigit Barnes & Associates, a land use law firm out of Loomis with 7-Eleven as its largest client), the 700 Hickey location will have the same franchise owner as the 137 Manor location.

Ms. Schardt also placed the now-removed San Mateo 7-Eleven at North San Mateo Drive and East Bellevue Avenue, which neighbors complained had been installed with a generic "neighborhood market" title and incorrect zoning identification. San Mateo paid a settlement after revoking that permit.

Of that location, 7-Eleven attorney Steven Jamieson notoriously stated that “you can't put the milk back in the bottle” once construction has begun, and that 7-Eleven will appear to vigorously defend every revocation.

The 700 Hickey 7-Eleven application noticed only nine property owners, of which only three were residences in a census tract made up almost entirely of renters, and where 47.3 percent of the citizens do not speak English at home. (For reference, another Pacifica Planning Commission application mailed that same month noticed 108 citizens.)

7-Eleven has been a bad neighbor in Pacifica for decades. Every store has a history of excessive signage, neighborhood garbage, convictions for selling alcohol to minors (both were cited by ABC in the most recent sting operation), and crime (the 137 location has been robbed twice in a month before).

Special thanks to Pacifica Planning Commission's:

-->Commissioner Mike Brown, the ONLY commissioner who voted against the 700 Hickey location.

-->Commissioner Josh Gordon, who in addition to being born to the job, called the existing 7-Eleven locations' signage "abominable."

-->And of course Commissioner Richard Campbell, who confirmed for the public that a 7-Eleven application at 505 Linda Mar Boulevard (Dave & Lou's) will be presented to the Planning Commission.

The Planning Commission, City Council, the Chamber of Commerce, and the "Economic Development Committee" -- Pacifica is downgrading FAST:

Pacifica's face to the world is now going to be a convenience store next to the park-and-ride bus stop with a new, added above-ground sewage overflow system ("Equalization Basin") -- across from two emptying shopping centers, and the Fassler hillside with roads all over it, visible from all main points.

Convenience stores have particularly high crime rates:

But the bigger picture is why would you want to make Pacifica so, well, un-scenic?

7-Eleven: Is it a corporate-owned store or a franchise? There is a difference. Most gas stations are corporate, i.e., oil company-owned. Dave and Lou's is the disappearing anomaly. Will we have pressure to exert on local owners, or is it corporate headquarters?

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