Update on the Vacant Lot at Denver & Clairemont Intersection

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Vacant lot in Clairemont/Bay Park at Clairemont Drive & Denver St
The February Clairemont Community Planning Group (CCPG) Meeting had a full agenda and as always there was a lot of great useful information discussed.

Last month I published and asked,  Is a 7-11/Carwash the best use of this high visibility location? http://www.clairemonttimes.com/2015/01/27/60541/a-7-11-as-you-enter-the-gateway-to-clairemont-bay-park

The attorney who represents the proposed applicant (7-11) presented again at the February meeting.

The issue is and was if the CCPG would give a blessing (approve) beer and wine sales via a Conditional Use Permit (CUP).

Keep in mind it is not the CCPG who make the final call they are an advisory group who vote yay or nay on many neighborhood issues which in turn is reported to the suits downtown.  A common misconception is that local planning groups are the decision makers, nothing could be further from the truth.

Concerns and questions were raised by the CCPG as well as from the public.  What hours will alcohol be sold? Were “singles” going to be sold?  What kind of window advertising would be promoting beer and wine specials?

An underlying tone throughout the presentation was that this new potential 7-11 would be a haven for transients to gather, hang out, etc.  A public comment then put it in perspective “we are giving transients way too much power or credit”.  It was a valid eye opening point.  Are we in fact dictating what goes where and why based on transients?

Other comments from the CCPG and public included; what about the existing 7-11 less than a mile away travelling up Clairemont Drive, or the car wash even closer in the same direction.  Concerns about churches and a day care were also mentioned.

While all of those concerns were voiced the fact is the property is zoned for what was being presented.  And the same CUP was approved 6 plus years ago.

An implication was made by the applicant if the beer & wine sales was not going to happen or be recommended they may exercise an escape clause.  In the end it was an 8-2 vote in favor of allowing the CUP of Beer and Wine Sales.

With the vote CCPG did recommend some stipulations such as no alcohol sales after midnight (instead of the usual 2 am), no extreme signage on the storefront windows promoting alcohol sales, no single sales IE no selling of one can of beer (not sure it is the marketing of any beer companies “Tall Boy Singles …  The Transients Choice” before you start writing and complaining it is a a sarcastic comment).

In the end the applicant got what they were seeking an approved recommendation from the CCPG.  Who knows how long the lot will remain in the same condition, but it took one step closer to being developed.  Stay tuned.

And as always, stay tuned for what is coming down the pike for Morena Blvd, the Bay View Lot, the Trolley, Keils Shopping Center and more.

It is never a dull moment at the CCPG stop by on St Patrick’s Day for the next meeting 6:30 Cadman Elementary.

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