San Ramon commission to debate new heritage school

Walgreens public art feature also on planning commissioners' agenda

The San Ramon Planning Commission is set to consider a proposal Tuesday from a local day care operator to establish a new afternoon heritage school for elementary and middle school students on San Ramon Valley Boulevard.

Shilpa Panech wants permission to create the Panache Heritage School at 2410 San Ramon Valley Blvd., Suite 111 -- next door to Panech's Panache Enfants day care facility in the Courtyard Center, southeast of the boulevard's intersection with Crow Canyon Road.

The heritage school, proposed to occupy 2,480 square feet of vacant tenant space in the Courtyard Center, would offer after-school cultural enrichment programs for up to 50 children in kindergarten through eighth grade Mondays through Fridays from 1-6:30 p.m., according to city associate planner Shinei Tsukamoto.

Classified as a day care facility, the heritage school would be independent from and would not share services with the adjacent Panache Enfants, a child care center that opened in 2013 and serves up to 72 children between ages 6 weeks old to 6 years old, according to Tsukamoto.

City staff thinks enough parking exists around the Courtyard Center to accommodate the heritage school, in part because the applicant proposed to pick children up from various schools using their own vans and buses to transport the kids to the day care, Tsukamoto said.

The Planning Commission is set to conduct a public hearing and take citizen testimony Tuesday night before deliberating about whether to approve the proposed heritage school. The meeting is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. at San Ramon City Hall, 2222 Camino Ramon.

In other business, the commissioners will consider giving final approval to a proposed public artwork at the site of the planned new Walgreens Pharmacy store in the Dougherty Valley.

The project applicant, Browman Development Co., wants to install a 10-foot-tall metal sculpture called "Reaching for the Stars" by Dale Rogers -- the same artist who created the "People" metal sculpture at San Ramon's Central Park.

The public art feature was a condition of approval when the commission signed off on the proposed 12,595-square-foot Walgreens with a drive-thru in September. The project site is 11440 Windemere Parkway, located at the northeast corner of the intersection with Rockhampton Road and near Bollinger Canyon Road.

Where to place "Reaching for the Stars" remains under debate for San Ramon officials.

City planning staff agrees with the Architectural Review Board, which recommended the sculpture be installed along Windemere Parkway in front of a blank wall near the Rockhampton Road intersection.

The Arts Advisory Committee suggested the artwork go closer to the Walgreens' main entrance for better exposure. But city staff contends that location is already crowded with a bike rack, bench, stop sign and other items, and the applicant thinks that spot would increase their liability from potential public interaction with the sculpture, according to Tsukamoto.

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3 people like this
Posted by Windemere Resident
a resident of San Ramon
on Mar 15, 2016 at 8:54 am

The community does not want this Walgreens. Shame on all of those involved in building it.

6 people like this
Posted by Wendy
a resident of San Ramon
on Mar 15, 2016 at 9:36 am

Not everyone in the community is against the building of the Walgreens. The space was always designated for commercial use and I think it would be a benefit to have a 24 hour pharmacy in the neighborhood.

3 people like this
Posted by Windemere Neighbor
a resident of San Ramon
on Mar 15, 2016 at 10:46 am

Why don't we want a Walgreens and why shame on anyone involved? If you make comments like that explain yourself. I personally don't see what the problem is, I am not against it.

3 people like this
Posted by Another Windemere Resident
a resident of San Ramon
on Mar 15, 2016 at 12:19 pm

I think the community would have been better served by something other than another convenience store selling liquor and tobacco. Part of the appeal of our community is that it's not over run with strip malls, and the addition of this Walgreens gets us one step (albeit small) closer to that. What's next, a check cashing store?

4 people like this
Posted by Steve
a resident of San Ramon
on Mar 16, 2016 at 6:21 am

This Walgreens will not sell distilled spirits according to the development agreement . All Walgreens have stopped selling cigarettes.

The site was always designated for commercial development. Would you prefer a fast food restaurant or a gas station?

Your other option was to buy the site yourself and either leave it empty or build the commercial development you preferred.

Like this comment
Posted by Samir
a resident of San Ramon
on Mar 16, 2016 at 5:58 pm

That's a shame. The voices of the 160+ residents in the immediate nearby area who signed a petition opposing this must have fallen on deaf ears.

I too would prefer that nothing be developed.

Steve - Was the parcel ever available for sale? If not, your rebuttal is specious at best.

4 people like this
Posted by Steve
a resident of San Ramon
on Mar 16, 2016 at 10:22 pm

Absolutely it was for sale. The company that is developing the property bought it from Windemere.

Leaving it vacant was never realistic. It was always going to be a commercial retail operation.

Unless the owner wanted it to be vacant, it as going to be retail.

Like this comment
Posted by SHale99
a resident of another community
on Mar 17, 2016 at 5:51 pm

SHale99 is a registered user.

All for a Walgreens going in. Puppy is approved, so spilt milk, yea?

Like this comment
Posted by Steve
a resident of San Ramon
on Mar 18, 2016 at 10:29 am

Windemere vote now:
1) Walgreens
2) Fast food like McDonalds or Burger King
3) Gas station with convenience store
4) YOU buy the property- $1million+ AND YOU design AND develop a park at $200k to $400k AND YOU maintain the park at $20 to $40k per year.

Do nothing is NOT a choice.

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

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