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Sentinel staff report–
A neighborhood association in Citrus Heights is claiming victory after a proposal to demolish an office building and construct a new ARCO gas station on Sunrise Boulevard was officially withdrawn.
The proposal was originally submitted by Barghausen Consulting nearly two years ago and included plans to demolish an existing multi-story office building at 7056 Sunrise Blvd. and construct a convenience store, eight gas pumps and a small car wash. A month after being proposed in 2016, nearby residents packed out a community meeting at City Hall to voice concerns about blight, possible increased crime from alcohol sales and a 24-hour convenience store, traffic, “noise pollution,” and general opposition to having a gas station at a location near homes.
Led by Sunrise Oaks Neighborhood Association President Nancy Graham, the group continued opposition to the project by gathering signatures for a petition, flooding council members with emails, and holding additional meetings — their goal being to stop the gas station from ever being built. Last week, the group announced their fight was over.
“This is such GOOD NEWS!” wrote Sunrise Oaks Neighborhood Association President Nancy Graham in a Sept. 8 email, announcing to her association members that the plans had been withdrawn. “To each and everyone of you who took the time to write a letter or make a phone call, Thank You.”
Graham’s email also expressed gratitude for the City’s Planning Division paying attention to what she described as “vehement opposition” from her neighborhood. She also cited another association board member, Steve Wigginton, who claimed letters and emails sent to the City from residents and businesses prompted the City to require a full Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the project.
“The high cost of the EIR study and strong opposition from residents and businesses were instrumental in stopping this project,” the email said. “This is an example of how our individual efforts can make an impact in our city.”
Rhonda Sherman, the City’s community services director, confirmed in an email on Wednesday that the developer had withdrawn its application for the gas station, but said the City did not have information as to the reason.
Attempts to reach a Barghausen representative for comment on Wednesday were not successful.
The move for a developer to withdraw an application is unusual. Colleen McDuffee, the city’s planning division manager, previously told residents at a community meeting about the ARCO proposal that it’s rare for an applicant to pull out, and the mayor at the time said she could only think of one prior example.
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