A photo of a CVS/Pharmacy in Macomb, Illinois ...

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A group billing themselves as 4Sight Sebastopol (aka the SESAW Committee) has formed in opposition to the proposed CVS/Pharmacy and Chase Bank project in the former Pellini Chevrolet property and is circulating a letter and petition for the Planning Commission to consider either rejecting or requiring significant changes and mitigation measures. SESAW argues that the project as planned is inappropriate for the downtown location for many reasons, including the strip mall/low density nature, which would repeat the mistakes of the strip mall development on North Main Street and overemphasize auto use through overbuilding the parking. In addition, CVS/Pharmacy currently serves the north end of town, while two full-service pharmacies (Rite-Aid and Safeway) already serve downtown; unless another pharmacy went in the current CVS/Pharmacy location, residents of the north end of town would then need to drive in rather than having a walkable option.

The project has changed considerably since first being proposed, with the locations of the drive-through and Chase Bank switched, as well as various streetscape improvements, but remains a low-density, auto-oriented, big chain development at Sebastopol’s gateway.

Several aspects of the project come before the Planning Commission at tonight’s meeting:

A. Public Hearing – Alcohol Use Permit; Advisory Review of Barnes Avenue Abandonment; Certification of Mitigated Negative Declaration – (Project #2010-08)

 To consider a request, submitted by William McDermott, for an Alcohol Use Permit for off-site alcohol sales at a proposed CVS Pharmacy; and in addition, to review and make a recommendation to the City Council concerning the proposed abandonment of Barnes Avenue as part of the proposed CVSChase project, located at 6877 Sebastopol Avenue; and certification of the Initial Study/Mitigated Negative Declaration prepared under the California Environmental Quality Act. A Public Hearing was conducted and closed on May 24, 2011; Commission deliberation and action on the matter was continued to the June 14 meeting