Costco will get its wish for a 20-pump gas station after all
A decision has finally been reached in the debate over whether or not to allow Costco to expand its gas station and add more pumps - and it appears Costco will get its way after all.
In October, the Planning Commission heard arguments from Costco representatives that increasing the gas station from 12 pumps to 20 would help decrease traffic in the parking lot and perimeter streets by lessening the wait time to fill up. Costco reps said more pumps would lead to to fewer cars queueing up in line and snaking through the parking lot, blocking parking spaces.
However, after listening to a long list of residents complaining about traffic jams and congestion and worrying that the expansion would only lead to increased traffic as more customers decide to utilize the gas station, the Planning Commission voted to downgrade the expansion and allow only four new pumps, for a total of 16.
That decision led to two appeals being filed - one by Costco representatives who still wanted to argue for their 20 pumps, and another by Andy Saberi, owner of the local independent gas station Gas & Shop at 895 Woodside Road. Saberi and his attorney argued that allowing Costco to expand its pumps and continue to sell gas at a reduced rate was the equivalent of "sanctioning a monopoly," and directly hurting nearby gas stations such as his own.
At its meeting this week, the City Council heard the two appeals, and many were surprised the Council voted 4-3 in favor of approving Costco's original expansion request for eight new pumps, for a new total of 20. In the end, the four Council members in support implied they felt the additional pumps would not, in fact, exacerbate existing traffic woes, and that there was not enough hard evidence to suggest it would.
Councilmembers Ian Bain, Rosanne Foust and Barbara Pierce voted in favor of sticking to the downgraded approval of a 16-pump station, but were out-voted.
Say goodbye to your plastic bags, Redwood City
In other news, the City Council also voted this week to approve a ban on single-use plastic bags, and to encourage residents to either bring their own reusable shopping bags, or to charge 10 cents per bag if a shopper wishes to purchase a paper bag.
However, the ban will not go into effect until October, rather than the previously discussed April 25, to give businesses more time to prepare and adjust to the new ordinance, the City said.
The state of California is also considering making a plastic bag ban the law statewide. Though the legislation stalled out previously, the proposal is currently being re-introduced in the State Assembly.
Patch has heard from many readers on both sides of the plastic bag ban debate, both in support of and against such bans.
PATCH WANTS TO KNOW - What do you think of the City's two actions taken this week? Do you support Redwood City's plastic bag ban? What do you think of Costco being allowed to expand its gas station to 20 pumps? Tell us in the comments below.
Also on RedwoodCity-Woodside Patch:
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- New Study: Average Local Apartment Unaffordable for 57% of Renters
- Celebrated Undocumented Journalist to Speak at Sequoia High School
- Woodside Offered $11.65 Million to Change Name to 'SugarDaddie.com'
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