San Ramon commission to again debate Walgreens project

New Wendy's drive-thru, zoning ordinance update also on tap

The San Ramon Planning Commission is set for another public discussion on a proposed Walgreens store and drive-thru pharmacy in the Dougherty Valley.

The city has held a handful of meetings on several variations of the Windemere Parkway project since last September, and San Ramon planning officials recommend the commission consider a final decision on the latest version Tuesday night.

The current proposal from Walnut Creek-based Browman Development Co. would add a 12,595-square-foot building to a one-acre lot at the northeast corner of Windemere Parkway and Rockhampton Road, just off Bollinger Canyon Road.

Designated for commercial uses such as a pharmacy, the site is surrounded by the Canyon Oaks at Windemere apartment complex, a fire station and the Ambridge townhouse development.

The applicant has made several concessions during the public process, including reducing the building floor area, limiting delivery truck sizes to 43 feet long, allowing delivery only 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays and offering to add a stop sign at Canyon Oaks and "Children at Play" sign on the private property, according to San Ramon city associate planner Shinei Tsukamoto.

Since the last commission meeting on the project, the Ambridge Homeowners Association submitted a letter to the city outlining concerns such as the need for more police patrol, trash possibly increasing in the neighborhood and potential violation of mandatory delivery hours, Tsukamoto said in his latest report to commissioners.

In response, Tsukamoto noted that the project would not result in activities necessitating increased police services, that Walgreens said it would do what it could to prevent trash problems and assist in local clean-up if such problems occur, and that any violations of permit conditions should be reported to city staff.

On-site parking has been another talking point during the ongoing Walgreens debate, and city staff supports the developer's most recent parking plan.

Browman proposes to provide 44 parking spots at the site -- a dozen fewer than the 56 spaces required under city zoning ordinance provisions -- while also setting aside land at the property for future construction of 12 additional spots when deemed necessary by the city's zoning administrator, Tsukamoto said.

City staff recommends the commission conduct the scheduled public hearing Tuesday night, and then consider whether to approve the project, declare intent to deny the project or continue the debate to a future meeting.

The Walgreens discussion is the lead item for the commission's meeting, set to start at 7 p.m. in the city council chambers at 2222 Camino Ramon.

In other business

* The commission will consider making a final decision on a Wendy's drive-thru restaurant proposed for vacant property at 2222 San Ramon Valley Blvd., between the intersections with Purdue Road and Fostoria Way/Deerwood Road.

Property owners Phaas LLC/Amar Sindhu Property Management will return to the commission Tuesday with a revised plan for on-site traffic circulation and drive-thru vehicle queuing, according to city associate planner Cindy M. Yee.

The updated plan includes making the southern driveway one-way only, with two clearly marked lanes (one for parking vehicles and one for those headed to drive-thru), implementing angled parking, creating more queuing space for the drive-thru and reducing on-site parking by six spots to a total of 23 -- still above 13-space minimum.

City staff, which supports the new circulation plan, recommends the commission conduct the public hearing and consider deciding whether to approve the project, Yee said.

The Wendy's would sit on the Interstate 680 side of San Ramon Valley Boulevard, between two other fast-food restaurants: In-N-Out Burger and KFC.

* The commission will also receive a verbal presentation on the city's zoning ordinance update process.

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