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San Ramon: Council OKs new Costco gas station on Fostoria Way

Original post made on Feb 12, 2021

The San Ramon City Council approved plans for a 32-pump Costco gas station across the street from the company's Danville warehouse store, denying a resident-submitted appeal challenging the project during a special meeting Thursday.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, February 12, 2021, 11:48 AM

Comments (13)

Posted by Former Employee
a resident of San Ramon
on Feb 12, 2021 at 11:07 pm

Former Employee is a registered user.

I'd just like to point out that the Office Depot in Dublin has only been closed for five years. Having worked there for a year from 2014 to 2015, I think I would've noticed it being closed. It also wasn't shut down because of slow business, but because the owner of the building was a massive cheapskate who tried to force the tenant (Office Depot) to pay for roof repairs after the massive rains in 2014. When OD declined, the building owner tried to renegotiate a massive increase to the lease to cover for the roof repairs forcing OD to close the store instead.

Clearly Mr. Perkins, and the rest of the council for that matter, has dollar signs in their eyes wanting this gas station. They shouldn't so easily brush aside the concerns of the people who elected them to serve.

Posted by 45 Year Resident of SanRamon and Danville
a resident of Danville
on Feb 13, 2021 at 2:23 pm

45 Year Resident of SanRamon and Danville is a registered user.

Twenty-five speakers, including the appellant, voiced concerns about traffic, effects on health, 120 gallons of underground storage tanks, etc.

A 12 year old boy’s opposition to the project, whose aunt has health problems and lives nearby, was ignored. A young girl questioned what type of message the city’s promotion of selling fossil fuels would send to her generation. This, too, was disregarded. A speaker said that cheap gas was already available in San Ramon. Another said there are 8 gas stations in less than 2 miles.

Costco’s data on traffic was accepted, even though none of the examples compared to the stand-alone, 32 pump mega-station for San Ramon. Most all of the examples Costco used for the traffic study were small stations, some even in Oregon.

Only 4 speakers spoke in favor of the project (one from Pleasanton), even though Costco’s VP sent out 20,000 letters (to approximately 40,000 members) requesting participation. Only .01% spoke in favor.

Most speakers, including the appellant, requested an Environmental Impact Report which Costco would pay for. Obviously, the City Council had decided well in advance of the meeting. Only Councilmember Armstrong asked meaningful questions. The other 4 members spoke to justify their forgone conclusions.

Posted by ConcernedCitizen
a resident of Danville
on Feb 13, 2021 at 6:20 pm

ConcernedCitizen is a registered user.

It is disappointing that the San Ramon City Council members were determined to use only the studies presented by Costco. It was sadly a one-sided hearing. The San Ramon City Council unanimously approved the 32-pump gas station, the largest in Northern California, despite residents’ pleas to council members to vote no. There were 1,000 emailed letters to the City Council, the contents of which were not disclosed and considered. One council member even said that Costco had the right to campaign to San Ramon residents to make their mega gas station happen. This news article stated that letters were mailed to all Costco members. I am a member, but surprisingly, I did not get one. Concerned constituents and their neighbors were only given ONE MINUTE each to speak, which is unheard of in a public forum. Costco was allotted special privileges to show PowerPoint presentations and speak at length. The appellant, a resident, was given equal time, but he was outnumbered by the second largest retailer in the world. Are local politicians concerned about health and responsibility? Were social justice, climate change, and California’s goal to have zero emissions by 2035 even considered? There is an oncology clinic on El Capitan, which is walking distance on Fostoria Way from the planned Costco station. They treat cancer patients with chemotherapy onsite for crying out loud.

The mayor even insulted The Town Council of Danville by saying, “If it were up to Danville, this project will be approved tonight.” That was what you did, Mr. Mayor; you approved it that night.

Attention all elected officials: You were voted into office by your constituents. You can always be voted out. You serve the people and not the other way around. $200,000 in annual tax revenues is nothing compared to the tax revenues you get from the headquarters of Chevron located in Bishop Ranch, San Ramon, CA. Your concern about money over human lives and the environment is simply disgusting.

Posted by Jeff B.
a resident of San Ramon
on Feb 15, 2021 at 10:12 am

Jeff B. is a registered user.

Has the Office Depot building been condemned? Has Office Depot announced that they are closing the store? Is the property being acquired through “eminent domain”? How is the property being acquired? Doesn’t this make the Staples store a monopoly for the area (assuming it stays in business)?

Posted by 45 Year Resident of SanRamon and Danville
a resident of Danville
on Feb 15, 2021 at 11:23 am

45 Year Resident of SanRamon and Danville is a registered user.

I was corrected. It is 120,000 gallons of underground storage of gasoline. (3)- 40,000 gallon tanks. These tanks can leak. The latest data that I could find was 2017. Costco was listed as leak #53 in 2017.

Web Link

ConcernedCitizen - I agree with everything that you said. The Council deemed the $200,000 in sales tax as more important than the will of the citizens. Only 3 San Ramon residents spoke in favor after a 20,000 mailer by Costco to over 40,000 members.

If there is a second reading of the Council decision, their decision should be reversed. TRAFFIC, POLLUTION, LEAKS

Posted by Paul Clark
a resident of Danville
on Feb 15, 2021 at 11:54 am

Paul Clark is a registered user.

I am personally very pleased that Costco will soon have a service station that is convenient to the San Ramon Valley. Both Livermore and Concord are too far to be of any real value to local residents. As for all the nonsense about "leaking tanks," just what do these people think about the "tanks" at all the rest of the service stations in the area, most of which have been here for decades? At least Costco's tanks will be brand new, made from the state-of-the art construction, and have the leak detection monitoring systems included in their installation. I am just sorry that the station is going into San Ramon and not Danville, because the people of Danville should understand the economic impact of Costco's Store across Fostoria Way in Danville. I have been told by reliable sources that it contributes as much as 25% of Danville's sales tax revenue. Beyond that, Costco Gas will put a brake on the major fuel retailers in the area who are gouging us at the pumps. We are always going to have the NIMBYs who want the service to be "somewhere else," because of their ill-conceived "perception" that any new venture is a boogie man to be kept out.

Posted by Art Miller
a resident of San Ramon
on Feb 15, 2021 at 1:54 pm

Art Miller is a registered user.

Pleased to know the Costco gas station will go forward. We are tired of driving to Livermore Costco station. This will help the community conserve energy, time and expense by purchasing fuel and family items at one location.

Posted by Paul Clark
a resident of Danville
on Feb 15, 2021 at 4:09 pm

Paul Clark is a registered user.

From another poster:

"ConcernedCitizen - I agree with everything that you said. The Council deemed the $200,000 in sales tax as more important than the will of the citizens. Only 3 San Ramon residents spoke in favor after a 20,000 mailer by Costco to over 40,000 members."

Looks to me that "the will of the citizens" has been more than adequately addressed what with out of more than 80,000 residents in San Ramon today, only three people showed up to object.
And somehow, I think with most local governments having a shortfall in revenue due to Covid, the potential for $200,000. in revenue probably resonates with most taxpayers.
Lastly, it seems inane to me to think that by denying this business, we somehow "magically" are ending the use of fossil fuels, and that "electric cars," fueled today as they are by electricity generated by fossil fuels, are somehow "green."

Posted by 45 Year Resident of SanRamon and Danville
a resident of Danville
on Feb 16, 2021 at 11:32 am

45 Year Resident of SanRamon and Danville is a registered user.

@ Paul Clark
Just to clarify, it was only 3 people (of 80,000?) who spoke in favor of Costco. The other 25+ people who spoke were against Costco. I respect those who are in favor like yourself.

The $200,000 in sales tax from Costco will represents .15% percent (.00157) of the $127,200,000 budget for 2020-2021. In my opinion: the traffic, pollution, and quality of life are more important than this small amount. I think that $200,000 could be saved in budget reductions.

Just my opinion. You are welcome to yours.

Posted by Paul Clark
a resident of Danville
on Feb 16, 2021 at 12:41 pm

Paul Clark is a registered user.

@45 Year Resident of SanRamon and Danville

I did catch my error, which you pointed out, after I posted my comments. That said, my experience with local government is that it's usually those who are in opposition to some pending act of government who show up at the meeting. The issues of "traffic, pollution, and quality of life" here are amazing to me. The area in question is one of San Ramon's commercial hubs. Where to you put service stations if you don't site them in areas that have been developed for that purpose? The last time I looked, we still allow people to build their businesses in this country. To me these are red herrings, because the service station doesn't cause an increase in the numbers of automobiles that are domiciled in the surrounding area. Do you also think that there are too many fast food restaurants in the area? Because the constant lineup at the local In N' Out Burger place is causing a whole lot more "traffic, pollution, and quality of life problems" than the Costco Gas Station and it's only two blocks away.

Posted by William E Bales
a resident of another community
on Feb 16, 2021 at 4:54 pm

William E Bales is a registered user.

Members of these communities has brought this issue to my attention and as a former Professional Driver I have witnessed large gas stations in every single state across this nation. I also ran 3 high volume gas stations that takes on tourism and local citizens where the average was between 50-64 thousands gallons per "day". 2 million vacationers a year would fill their tanks daily and even boats got filled up at our station. Kitty Hawk, NC Exxon So I know high traffic and I know the dangers of this large of a gas station in small communities.

After leaving these stations to become a Firefighter and First Responder & Rescue at the Kitty Hawk Fire Department back in the late 90's, I've witnessed the spills and the cleanups in gas stations on a regular basis. People walk inside while pumping their gas and sometime it goes everywhere. From drive offs, to much higher crime of theft and robbery, these issues brings up the bottom line of how many lives is it worth to bring in $200,000 a year in tax revenue when most of that will be used to hire two more police officers to chase down all the extra criminals coming into that small town.

So I did an investigation into Costco's safety and & factor for the benefit of Danville & SanRamon citizens so they would be able to review the "development factor viewpoint" that I have found out that I bet many citizens did not know about Costco and their constant violations of EPA, Consumer safety, and employee safety violations that seems to never stop. So why would you want a company in your city that is constantly violating the safety regulations that threatens the health and well being of those citizens that would be forced to move due to healthcare concerns. As a business developer this is what I found out about Costco that the citizens (portion removed pending verification or source) Article about Costco's constant violations concerning safety since 2010.

Posted by 50 year resident
a resident of San Ramon
on Feb 18, 2021 at 1:24 pm

50 year resident is a registered user.

I think it's interesting to note that everyone speaking against the San Ramon approval of the costco gas station is from Danville, except for one person. Where were these people when Danville put Costco on Fostoria and funneled the traffic through San Ramon? Danville got the revenue and San Ramon received the traffic impacts. I wonder if we would hear these same comments if it were Marshall's that were to be demolished and the gas station put there? I suspect not.

Posted by Paul Clark
a resident of Danville
on Feb 18, 2021 at 2:44 pm

Paul Clark is a registered user.

To 50 Year Resident, (and by the way I've lived in Danville since 1968, and grew up in Lafayette)

I guess I don't understand why you are "critical of the Danville residents?" From the "hot button issues" quality of life, traffic, and the environment, there isn't a nickels worth of difference on which side of Fostoria way the station is sited. The only residential neighborhood that is anywhere near the Costco site, is in Danville, not San Ramon. But again, the issue evidently didn't resonate with the residents of San Ramon, if only a couple dozen people showed up to object. As for your "Marshall's comment," since I don't shop there, it would be fine with me if the collective business decision was that it was the building that needed to go. Plus, Danville would be getting the sales tax subventions. I have shopped at the Office Depot across the street on occasion, and I can see why it's the building of choice. It is not doing the kind of business that would support the real estate it's utilizing.

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