Elk Grove City Council Approves 'One of its Kind in California' Gas Station, Fast Food Outlet

January 23, 2014 | The Elk Grove City Council unanimously approved a rezone request last night for what its developer is calling a &...


January 23, 2014 |

The Elk Grove City Council unanimously approved a rezone request last night for what its developer is calling a "one of its kind in California" freeway accessible gas station, fast food and liquor store strip center.

The rezone, the so-called Moore Sheldon Road project, received approval to move forward on what has been a controversial plan to develop a fast food, gas station and liquor store strip center on a parcel that was zoned for high density housing in the city's general plan. The controversy for the project, which is located on Sheldon Road and East Stockton Blvd. just east of Highway 99, erupted when developer Gil Moore sought, and successfully lobbied the city council, to change the city's highway sign ordinance so that a McDonald's could be located at the strip center.

In public comments prior to approval of the rezone, the city council heard from three people who objected to the request. One of the speakers and his family live in a house directly adjacent to the project.

Elk Grove resident Joey Guevara said when purchasing his new house on Koto Drive in 2005, he had no idea it would someday be next to a fast food outlet. Guevara said that the house was purchased near the market peak, and inspite of personal financial difficulties brought on by the Great Recession and the foreclosure of many houses on his block, he and his family had determined to stay.

"We did what we had to so we could stay in this home," Guevara said. "And this gas station is just forcing us out, so this is my last stand tonight before we make the ultimate decision to leave this house, and we owe a lot more on this house than it is worth."

"AM/PM doesn't sell fine wine," he added, "they sell malt liquor."

During their deliberations, Council Member Steve Detrick addressed one of the lingering controversies surrounding the project - the allegation council members gave a de facto approval of the project before it had made its way through the entire planning and rezoning process.
 
"Yeah, I've made comments that I like the project," Detrick said. "Just as well as somebody who may not like the project, I think I have that same freedom to say if I like a project when I see it." 

"I like the project and I support the project," he added.

Moore, who has verbally confronted critics in a number of meetings regarding the sign ordinance change, also appeared before the council Wednesday night touting his project.

"This is a beautiful wonderful project, one of its kind in California," Moore said. "It's not just a gas station, it's not just an AM/PM."


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27 comments

Sarah Johnson said...

So sad! This City Council has put the final nail in the "coffin" of Elk Grove. There really is no longer any hope that our community can be an example of something good.

Anonymous said...

Out of curiosity Sarah, based on your comment above why are you endorsing Nancy Chaires, per your quote on her website would she have had the "iron will" to vote no? She and the rest of the planning committee were the first to vote for this project and it looks like the fix was in there too.

Anonymous said...

No Detrick, you DON'T have the right to say you like a project months before the hearing. You are supposed to be an impartial decisionmaker and to withhold judgement until AFTER public comments are made. Oh that's right, public hearings in Elk Grove are a joke!

Sadly, no one from the "public" has the deep pockets to sue the city on Brown Act violations, so keep going, full speed ahead!

lynn said...

To both of the comments above; I am truly sad, very sad, very sad. It grieves me that this has happened. I spoke to the gentleman who spoke and he said he knew it was a done deal before he approached the podium. I thanked him for speaking out anyways. Then I began to plead with him that we need to get the neighborhoods together, we need to try and save the community. And the look in his eyes and his wife's eyes...All I could repeat and say is I am so sorry. And you know the council could not answer his question; "would you want to live by a gas station?" Would there have been 5 yes responses to that question?? Anonymous; yep look at voting records of the pc members...on council would they do any different? Has another council member done it different?
Voting party lines in our city IMO is not creating a better community.

Sarah Johnson said...

Come out from behind your anonymous moniker and I will be happy to discuss this with you. Until then, I don't owe you an explanation.

Thomas A. Anderson said...

We really ought to thank Mr. Detrick for being so forthright in his comments last night.

His comments affirm the following:

a.) Detrick admitted that he was predisposed to the plan from the very early stages. He showed a bias for the developer over the concerns of his constituents. Is it any coincidence this developer at one point made a stand-alone $10,000 donation to his campaign?

b.) Detrick confirmed the cozy relationships big real estate agents have in city politics. And I am not talking about agents schlepping tract homes either. Big shot agent Gil Albiani, another elected official by the way, who happens to have very easy access to the city's planners, brought Moore to Detrick. I can see it now: Albiani to Moore - "Pay Detrick $10,000 and he will shepherd your project." Albiani is a big supporter of Davis too. This is all way to convenient. Moore gets his project, McDonald's get their sign, Detrick gets his cash and Albiani gets a big fat commission. (Maybe Albiani's 460's need some scrutiny.) Just another day at the office in Elk Grove.

Anonymous said...

One of a kind?

Keep on building.

Let's build more of these.

Then this city will look like:

Century Boulevard, South Central Los Angeles

March Lane, North Stockton

Hammer Lane, North Stockton

Mack Road, South Sacramento

Any of the boring off ramps in Modesto.

Anonymous said...

NEW ELK GROVE OFFRAMP SIGNS:

NORTH STOCKTON NORTH

SOUTH SACRAMENTO SOUTH

Karma's Coming said...

Steve Detrick just doesn't get it. No, Detrick you don’t have the same freedoms here to say what did you long before the project came before the city council for a vote.. Your job is to listen to the people without prejudice as you are the one voting on the project..

You like the project all right, with $20K in the Detricks’ pocket, did you not champion the change in the sign ordinance for Gil Moore shortly thereafter? You represented one person up on that dais. . .Gil Moore and only Gil Moore.

Shame on you Mr. Detrick with your honesty, integrity, morality and accountability. Stop saying those words because one day Karma will catch up with you and you may well choke on those very same words.

Anonymous said...

YO!

Thank you for bringing me a one stop freeway fueling up joint.

Gotta get my 40 oz can of Olde English 800, suck it down in the parking lot before I gas up my junker at the AM/PM, get some grease in my bloodstream to hide the booze and jump on The 99.

NSA in Elk Grove said...

And like Moore's similar project at Howe Avenue, don't forget the crime element he hasn't been able to control.

But not too worry, your license plate picture will be taken. NSA agents now wear Hawaiian shirts!

Elliot Spitzer said...

Hey, is it true....I heard John's are being solicited at Moore's Howe Ave joint. How do I get there?

BAInc said...

It's an ugly project with too little parking. There are too many buildings/uses in a small space. Pedestrian flow doesn't seem very good. I don't think it will ruin Elk Grove but I think we can do better.

Given the housing element rezones that are mandated throughout the city is seemed to me like this 4.5 acres was a good spot for multifamily housing. Transit lines run right along Sheldon and East Stockton to Downtown Sac.

Multifamily housing is a good buffer between LDR and Commercial uses. The home owners along Gessner Drive especially those backing up to this project just lost $10-20k or more in their homes values last night. We just bought a home in the last month. While searching for homes I saw a few for sale on Koto and Gessner. We never even looked at them knowing what was proposed in this location. Mr. Hume pointed out there are homes near the 76 gas station in Old EG but that doesn’t compare. It’s a very small station with little traffic not nearly as much as will be going through this project.

Lynn said...

Sarah,

someone once asked "is Elk Grove worth saving"....I believed it two years ago enough to do something totally against how the political game is played because I believed it was....I wanted more than 3 minutes to speak up on issues, present a case, and really make an effort to engage residents in dialog past fluff. I entered going against the rules of the game;money wins and most certainly our leaders challenge us with it takes a lot of money. The odds were against me and I knew it. Any regrets; absolutely not. I learned so much, met many people. But the look in the man's eyes last night.....so I say now; Elk Grove can't be saved, but can the people be saved? I call civic center apartments the barracks as someone else termed the phrase. My friend said she thought it looked like Russia....hmm....this gave me a great deal to think about as I have attended meetings, watched our city leaders in action and the individuals who are in the chambers. Is "our house" as the mayor describes it shutting people out because of hopelessness, fear, poverty,oppression,propaganda, apathy? Are we loosing something?
And all I could say to the gentleman last night...I am so sorry...and all I can say to others in similar situations I am so sorry, I am so sorry for the many others like him....It is all bad planning by our leaders....at a cost to the residents.

Mad Hatter said...

A more appropriate name for the Elk Grove City Council is this - politburo!

Anonymous said...

New city logo: An elk sipping coffee while standing in the SOI, with departing U-Hauls traveling down the connector highway in the background.

Anonymous said...

I generally agree with all the comments to date. Mr Detrick does not understand that he must keep an open mind until all the people have spoken. I believe he just opened himself up for another FPPC complaint. He admitted a local real estate developer "brought" Moore to him to get his blessing. Seems like a quick pro quo going on here. Let's not forget Detrick's wife works with Albiani. Oh, the tangled web we weave. Also, Hume's comparison of a 1975 gas station to a 2014 maga center just didn't fly. You could tell he was grasping for legitimacy. Davis, Cooper and Trigg all just seem to fall in line. Trigg just needs to go. He is useless and just out of his element. Was the 6 or 8 foot wall issue ever settled? Was the existing 6 foot wall going to be torn down? Were they just going to add on to the 6 foot section? No one followed up on Hume's concern....just another indication that no matter what was presented, Gil Moore was going to get his approval. I vote we all boycott the entire center. Even though I live within a mile of the joint, I will never, ever stop at this location. I will make sure all my neighbors, who already don't like the center, won't shop there. I can see "picketing" in their future...how great would that be? How long until EGP would be dispatched to quell the civil unrest of a few grandma's walking the perimeter of the joint with signs that says "don't shop here"? hahahahahah

Kevin in Laguna said...

Mayor and Councilmembers:

20 or 30 years from now, what will be your legacy? What will YOU be remembered for in this community?

What have YOU done to make this community better?
A better place to live, raise families, work?
What have YOU done to make your citizens enjoy a better quality of life?

I have seen this city go down the crapper over the past four or five years with little positive to show over that time.

Last night's rezone and approval of Gil Moore's "Stop and Rob" is just the latest example.

PLEASE start doing what is best for this city, not what is best for the developers that pad your pockets.

Scared to leave my Name said...

I gotta say, I'm with Kevin.

The few of us that have the courage and willingness to approach the council on the record and plead for someone to hear their concerns continues to go totally disregarded.

The public has largely given up to speaking up as they are routinely and constantly ignored by this council.

And didn't Councilman Detrick recuse himself on the Gil Moore project in November or December when the sign ordinance came before the council as he (Detrick) lived within 500 ft of Moore's proposed retail center?

Why didn't he recuse himself last night when the council voted on approval of the same project?

Either it's okay to vote or recuse or it's not. Can't have it both ways.

Detrick ran his campaign on his promise to restore "integrity" to the council and he still shouts it from the podium. Funny, with all that integrity, why does he have $35,000 in legal problems and a case being reviewed by the Fair Political Practices Commission?

I've had about enough of all of them.

Anonymous said...

I no longer attend council meetings due to my high frustration level and the constant feeling that no one is listening. I do however watch all of them on the computer. I feel for Ms. Wheat. Her passion is so great; her concern genuine; her spirit unbending. The council seems to tune out with each comment she makes. The disrespect shown to most citizens is palpable; the ignorant attitude shown to Ms. Wheat unprofessional. One or two things Mr. Moore said last night was interesting...first, this project will be "one of a kind" in California". Talk about blowing hot air. This is a glorified strip mall. Next, Mr. Moore somehow feels that since his family will be running the shops within the project, that somehow that should all make us feel more comfortable. I guess I don't follow his logic. I highly doubt that your average "stop and rob" bad guy will stop to find out who owns/runs the store before they hold it up. Mr. Moore fails to understand this is the wrong project for this area of town. Another strip mall as our entry point to Elk Grove. Surely we could have come up with something more pleasing and unique. Instead, we settle for McDonalds and gas and booze. GREAT, what a unique idea. How is this "one-of-a-kind"? Just look at Mack Road...Am/pm plus McDonalds....ghetto. Thanks Mr. Moore for the community outrage. Just remember when Wal-Mart wanted to build on Sheldon road, the residents rebelled and started a brief but effective era of citizen involvement and rebellion. Perhaps this project will kindle the spirits again. One could only hope as this project is just so mediocre. A great opportunity missed fueled by greed and ignorance.

Capt. Benjamin L. Willard said...

These are my voting mistakes:

Jim Cooper: 2000
Rich Soares : 2000

Pat Hume: 2006

Gary Davis: 2006, 2010

Steve Detrick: 2008

We have a group of self-centered, narcissistic council members who I will not attach the phrase "leader" to as they are undeserving of the title. It is a sad group of council members. You would think and statistics would suggest in our 14 years, we would have had at one least one elected official who truly was a leader.

Anonymous said...

Just had a chance to watch the video and have to agree with all the above comments. A sorry group of electeds for sure! On the bright side, don't we have a chance to get rid of three (3) of them this year...Davis, Cooper & Trigg.

I did get a chuckle out of Mr. Detrick...he gets that mouth going and never knows when to stop until he buries himself along with others. Much like he has the team who worked so hard to get him elected in the first place...by any means necessary, no standards of honor and integrity to his friends and neighbors and... I'm very sorry to see that.

Anonymous said...

I am curious...this developer says this is a "one of a kind" developement. What qualifies this statement? It seems they talked about gas, pizza, liquor and car wash along with an 8 foot sound wall. Sounds extremely ordinary to me.

Anonymous said...

Elk Grove is the epitome of a hick valley town. Plow down the fields, slap up boring subdivisions, fill with strip centers and liquor stores. Looks junky and will get worse. A relative (retired cop) who visited asked "do you have a concealed weapons permit"? He said that the east side looks "sketchy"

Anonymous said...

After one year, after attending meetings, sending emails and letters, observing, reading, researching, listening, I will be moving from this failed city.
There are too many non-committed folks in EG:
including renters who are planning to leave, commuters working all day elsewhere, council members and city workers who focus only on their needs, city planning by outside consultants , developers who must focus on their bottom line, assembly line schools, lost teens home - selling and using booze and dope, phoney marketing staff trying to sell EG as a tourist destination...The only strengths: the vast sums spent on top notch police force, the dedicated church folks helping the hungry and homeless in our community.

Lynn said...

To Anonymous 21:22,
I agree with your comments. Sorry to hear that you will be moving, ..well our leaders tend to think ok...one leaves others will come. I wonder what would happen to our city if upon retirement the approx. 20,000 state workers all left this area? I have spoken with several that have and intend to upon retirement. I believe the truly committed folks to Elk Grove are exhausted, have passed away, or simply those that can afford to have moved away.
Just recently I had a realtor tell me that a particular vacant parcel in town is zoned commercial and that housing couldn't go there....Well the city is bundling rezones now....only 4 general plan amendments a year....and it looks like there will be 4 in 2014.
The only deal with this MR. Moore project; how the game is played was very transparent; give lots and lots of money and sell the project long before a "public hearing". Mr. Moore made how the game is played very transparent. So much for land use planning in Elk Grove...or should I say no plan.....I don't blame Mr. Moore here; he played the game that the previous developers established here....He just didn't understand one of the rules; dealings are done behind closed doors...and he chose the wrong council member to present his plan....

Anonymous said...

Welcome to Stockton!

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