New Walgreens given commission approval

Construction in Dougherty Valley expected to last nine months max

The San Ramon Planning Commission approved the proposal for a new Walgreens to be constructed in the Dougherty Valley with a unanimous vote Tuesday.

The plans were given the go-ahead with conditions of approval after 15 months of deliberations and project variations and more than an hour of public discussion Tuesday night.

Upon retrieval of building permits from the city, Browman Development Company can begin construction on the Walgreens store and drive-thru pharmacy on the one-acre parcel at 11440 Windemere Parkway, with work expected to take less than nine months.

Despite being the plan's self-proclaimed greatest adversary, commission vice chair Rick Marks said he was pleased to move forward with the development.

"I think over time, and on reflection, that we have reached a reasonable compromise," Marks said Tuesday night at City Hall. "This is an approvable project."

Marks went on to say he felt the conditions of approval were all necessary.

Conditions previously agreed upon, and highlighted during the meeting, included barring the sale of hard alcohol on the premises and including security cameras on the building's exterior. The mandated addition of local art on the property was also accepted by the developer.

Browman's director of construction, Aaron Zuzack, reintroduced the idea of allowing weekend construction to help expedite the building phase. Arguments for those hours were made by Zuzack and commissioners, as well as local resident Su Ren.

"Because it's a community of families," Ren said, "weekend (construction) would be a disturbance. That is a concern."

Zuzack argued that allowing interior construction to take place on the weekends would cut three months off of the development -- from 10 1/2 months to seven. He also brought up residential construction ordinances, which allows 75 hours overall per week, and the 45 hours allotted to the Walgreens project prior to Tuesday's meeting being a 40% reduction to the ordinance.

After deliberation among the commissioners, they decided to allow interior construction on Saturdays of development's first 60 days as well as the last 30 days between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Browman will also be required to post "children at play" signs on the property. Delivery trucks, which are not to exceed 43 feet long, will not be allowed to use Rockhampton Road and only make deliveries between the hours of 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.

The commissioners also discussed the project's proposed 44 parking spots, compared to the 56 required under the city's zoning ordinance.

The two sides agreed to have the city parking engineer research and determine whether the final 12 stalls would be needed. If it is deemed that those stalls are needed, Browman would be required to grade land set aside on the property for those final parking spots.

The motion to approve the plan, with conditions of approval as amended, was made by commissioner Jeanne Benedetti.

A minute-long pause ensued, with commissioner Eric Wallis saying, "We're thinking." Marks then voiced the idea that the plan be brought back for the next meeting -- at which time Wallis seconded the approval motion.

The Walgreens project was then approved with a 4-0 vote Tuesday.

In other business

* The commissioners gave initial support to a new Wendy's drive-thru at 2222 San Ramon Blvd.

They unanimously passed a motion to bring the plans back for a final approval vote on its consent agenda later this month.

* The commission is set to receive its newest member at its next meeting.

Local attorney Bijal Patel, a former member of the city's Transportation Advisory Committee, was selected by the City Council on Monday to fill the Planning Commission vacancy. She is set to be sworn in Sept. 15.

Kalama Hines is a freelance contributor for

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Like this comment
Posted by resident
a resident of San Ramon
on Sep 4, 2015 at 8:33 am

when Safeway is less than a mile away, what's the appoint of limiting hard alcohol? And will Walgreens really want to be the only store there for very long? Bring in a 7/11 then a drycleaners etc. etc. then just junk up the area like every other strip mall project. It's funny how city council thinks that by putting all these demands in, no alcohol, kids playing signs, cameras, parking etc. etc. etc. that it will change it from being s sh*thole project. It wont.

3 people like this
Posted by Jack
a resident of San Ramon
on Sep 7, 2015 at 10:15 pm

The city council didn't make those demands. The nearby residents did. The council won't even evaluate this project unless it gets appealed. This project was reviewed by the planning commission. There isn't enough room on the lot for other businesses anyway.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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