Annie Sciacca, an East Bay Times reporter reached out to our neighborhood group last Friday through this site. She had already read our blog post articulating our opposition to the drive-thru of the Amy’s proposal and she wanted to talk to someone from the group.
Jessica Clark, one of the original members of Larkey Park Neighbors United offered to speak with her, and said that the reporter seemed very well informed and had also reached out to Hall Equities, to Amy’s Kitchen and to the City.
We're happy that the reporter took the time to research and write an article that made an effort to really understand and incorporate our point of view as well.
Here's a link to the article:
Hall Equities posted this statement on their website and we wanted to point out a few areas where we disagree with their viewpoint. We take issue with them not working with us on non-drive thru alternatives that don't require a variance.
"...while the existing Service Commercial (S-C) zoning would have allowed a broad range of commercial and light industrial uses and tenants for the property, Hall Equities Group is pleased that they were able to secure a tenant that is so well suited for the neighborhood...”
WE DO NOT FEEL THAT A DRIVE-THRU IS "WELL-SUITED" HERE. -- ESPECIALLY THIS CLOSE TO THE MAIN ENTRANCE TO, AND EXIT FROM, A RESIDENTIAL NEIGHBORHOOD.
“...The company has received interest from numerous potential tenants for uses that would be allowed under the existing zoning at 2nd & Main, including a service station and carwash, a maintenance and repair shop, a national hamburger chain that would serve alcohol, and a Home Depot store. The service station would also require a Conditional Use Permit, but the hamburger and alcohol tenant would not because it would have no drive through.
The Home Depot would have required the acquisition of some adjacent property, which Hall Equities Group was unable to secure. There was also considerable interest from other potential tenants that would have required rezoning. However, in consideration of the neighborhood’s previous concerns, and in keeping with the existing zoning, Hall Equities Group selected Amy’s due to its family friendly culture...”
This project (and their 1st example of a service station/car wash) IS NOT IN KEEPING WITH THE EXISTING ZONING AND DOES NOTHING TO ADDRESS THE NEIGHBORHOOD'S CONCERNS. Our concerns were always specific to a zoning variance for a drive-thru.
Hall Equities never reached out to “work with us” as they said they would, nor did they ask for our point of view. The first we heard from them after the In 'N Out proposal, was the letter from Amy’s for another drive-thru plan that was already moving full steam ahead. HALL DID NOT REACH OUT TO ANYONE AT LPNU before or since we received that postcard from Amy's. We have always welcomed a collaborative model of engagement with them because, WE WANT THIS AREA DEVELOPED -- but we oppose a drive-thru here.
Hall’s examples of “other options” above are clearly selected and presented in a way that is meant to intimidate and suppress resistance to their desired drive-thru zoning variance plan.
That said, we find it interesting that Hall glosses right over the interest that would not require re-zoning like the “maintenance & repair” shop and they make a big deal about a (non-drive-thru) restaurant that might also serve alcohol as a negative.
We don't feel that would be a negative and Hall seems to ignore the fact this plan includes updating the existing full-sized bar and restaurant on the other half of their lot. Another restaurant that serves alcohol would not be a negative - except maybe to Masses!
AGAIN, WE HAVE NO OBJECTIONS TO A SIT DOWN OR WALK-UP RESTAURANT - AMY'S OR OTHERWISE.
Hall's full statement is here.