A complete ban on new drive-thru services in Sebastopol was recommended by the Planning Commission after two hours of debate Tuesday night. The commission also voted to apply the ban to current projects that have not reached the stage of having a building permit and beginning construction, which would affect the controversial CVS Pharmacy-Chase Bank branch project.
The Sebastopol City Council, with the controversial CVS Pharmacy project still casting a shadow over downtown, is adding a chain store ban and solar energy requirements as possible ways to preserve the community’s identity and shape new development.
‘As the city grows and develops and learns, there is a lack of clarity in what the city wants future growth to look like, and it is important the council become pro-active,’ said Vice Mayor Robert Jacob. ‘It is very clear our town wants to maintain its unique, small-town identity.’
Only nine votes separate two candidates vying for the final seat on the Sebastopol City Council, a race that may not be decided for days. ‘We will just see what happens,’ said Councilwoman Kathleen Shaffer. ‘I do want to see what the final vote count is.’ Shaffer trails challenger John Eder by nine votes in the contest for her seat. Robert Jacob, 35, led the voting with 28.9 percent, assuring himself of the seat vacated by Mayor Guy Wilson, who did not seek re-election.
The controversial CVS Pharmacy and Chase Bank branch development and its approval by the City Council emerged as the defining campaign issue during a candidates’ forum Thursday night.
The controversial CVS Pharmacy project, already subjected to two dozen meetings and hours of public debate over a two-year span, received final approval after midnight Wednesday by the City Council. In a 3 to 2 vote, the council approved the final design for project by Armstrong Development of Sacramento, overturning an earlier rejection by the Design Review Board to design approval.
The Sebastopol City Council is expected tonight to give final approval to the controversial CVS Pharmacy project but not before giving opponents a platform for a last-minute effort to try to derail the proposal.
It is bizarre to suppose that Sebastopol can be reconstituted as an old-timey pedestrian-centric village simply by harassing a developer who wants to rebuild on property that is now an eyesore. A property that has always been valued precisely for its accessibility to passing motorists. The demand for an environmental impact study is a stalling tactic and a misuse of that important safeguard.
Early Wednesday, the Sebastopol City Council, by a split 3-2 vote, allowed the controversial Chase/CVS development to go forward, with a couple of conditions. However, the struggle against Chase/CVS is far from over, for at least two main reasons — a pending lawsuit and the upcoming City Council elections. Opponents continue organizing to prevent these two major corporations from anchoring the downtown commons.
A CVS Pharmacy and a Chase Bank branch finally received the go-ahead from the Sebastopol City Council after one of the most contentious debates over the city’s identity in decades. A Sacramento developer’s plan for one of Sebastopol’s busiest intersections was passionately discussed down to the last minute, winning at about 12:15 a.m. Wednesday on a narrow 3-2 vote after four hours of discussion.