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San Ramon: Resident group sues city over Costco gas station approval

Original post made on Apr 14, 2021

A collection of residents have filed a lawsuit against the city of San Ramon over its approval of a 32-pump Costco gas station near the Danville border, arguing that the project should be more thoroughly reviewed...

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, April 13, 2021, 11:08 PM

Comments (21)

Posted by Matt Sullivan
a resident of Stoneridge
on Apr 14, 2021 at 2:10 pm

Matt Sullivan is a registered user.

Hooray for Safer San Ramon! Costco wants to turn its local neighborhoods into wastelands, and a stunning amount of people are OK with that.


Posted by DM
a resident of Birdland
on Apr 14, 2021 at 4:46 pm

DM is a registered user.

Resident group ? Made to sound like many residents from San Ramon - But that does not seem to be the case when digging into the details.
The lawsuit lists 7 names - some of the names seems to be related to other gas stations / gas suppliers to these stations.

No harm in filing lawsuits and protesting - But having misleading group names and misleading new headline does not help


Posted by Kim
a resident of Danville
on Apr 14, 2021 at 7:05 pm

Kim is a registered user.

I am so happy to hear other residents feel the same way as I do! I’m not sure what is happening in San Ramon and Danville’s City councils but this is highly concerning to for our environment as well as the increased traffic and crime this gas station will bring to our cities. I wrote the San Ramon Mayor in regards to my concerns about the increase in traffic and crime with the Nob Hill apartment plans and the response was (heard). Seriously is anyone in power listening to our concerns or looking out for the current residents best interest for our beautiful town?


Posted by PTown Resident
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Apr 15, 2021 at 11:33 am

PTown Resident is a registered user.

Same folks at it again, haters of Costco. Pleasanton Citizens for Responsible Growth clearly don't represent the majority of the Pleasanton residents, as the topic was voted on. And they loss not only via a residential vote but also under their initial lawsuit. If you look at the 2nd lawsuit, they expect attorney fees (to MR Wolfe) and lawsuit costs to be paid by the city should they win. A faction using the legal system to further "their" agenda and cover their expenses for the lawsuit from the city supposedly they represent. Can't believe this guy was even a council member, his interest is personal not for the city as a whole. Ironically, when he went for re-election he said his "top priorities would be to...listen to the entire community", so not sure why he's not listening to how the majority voted. We would have had a Costco by now with huge tax revenue during COVID that would've supported many city initiatives as there was far less tax revenue coming from other local business during the same time. The only growth happening is a pile of weeds growing on the empty lot on Johnson street for the past 3+ years. Now he's here to mess with San Ramon. Web Link


Posted by Bay Area Native
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Apr 16, 2021 at 8:59 am

Bay Area Native is a registered user.

I hope that Costco explores filing a malicious prosecution civil action against Mr. Sullivan for his continued opposition against the Pleasanton Costco. I hope they investigate who is really opposing the San Ramon gas station. Enough is enough.

The majority wants Costco for the low prices, high quality and good service. Costco also treats their employees well and pays above market wages. Apparently that only matters to Mr. Sullivan when he is trying to get union support (Castlewood labor dispute). Facts be damned.


Posted by Matt Sullivan
a resident of Stoneridge
on Apr 16, 2021 at 9:10 am

Matt Sullivan is a registered user.

PTown Resident,

Your version of this issue is simplistic but it resonates with the Costco fanatics (who are more selfishly concerned with their access to large quantities of unnecessary junk at a bargain price than they are to the environmental impacts, damage to local small businesses, and quality of life impacts to Costco’s neighbors), as well as our spineless City Council who care more about perceived “majorities” and votes than they do about doing the right thing. The facts are that the city lied to Pleasanton residents during the MM campaign about taxpayer subsidies to Costco and our local “newspapers” failed to report this even after being presented with evidence gained from a Public Records Request made by Pleasanton Citizens for Responsible Growth. In addition, the ballot question for MM was confusing: was a Yes vote for Costco? Was a No vote against Costco? The reality was it was just the opposite. Do you think the outcome of MM could have been different if people knew the truth about the subsidies and understood the question before voting? I think there would have been a good chance that it would have.

Regarding the CEQA lawsuits, we did not “lose” the initial lawsuit. The city intentionally tried to hide the health impacts from air pollution generated from the project, and after we filed the complaint exposing this, the city and Costco voluntarily agreed to re-do the EIR because they knew their claims were not valid. In fact, WE WON! Their second attempt was just as pathetic, so we sued again. While the judge ruled against us we felt that he didn’t give our arguments adequate consideration, so we are appealing his decision. No one knows what the final outcome will be.

(apparently, the Pleasanton Weekly doesn't like comprehensive posts so I'll continue this in another)


Posted by Matt Sullivan
a resident of Stoneridge
on Apr 16, 2021 at 9:11 am

Matt Sullivan is a registered user.

We are “missing out on huge tax revenue” during COVID? False – but again simplistic – argument. We performed an independent fiscal and economic analysis of the “subsidies” and the city agreement and determined that the city wouldn’t break even on this for 20 years. With the continuing rise of Jeff Bezos and his Amazon Empire, do you think Costco will even be around for another 20 years?

Regarding me not listening to the community, I spent hundred of hours at the Farmers Market during the MM campaign listening to what people thought about Costco and about the city’s massive give-way of our taxpayer dollars to a $60 billion corporation for the privilege of them destroying our community. I went to many public meetings where people spoke both for and against Costco and I heard them. I’ve had many one-on-one meetings with residents who opposed Costco. Again, its simplistic to say I’m not listening to the community. You may think the vast majority of Pleasantonians want Costco, but I’m not convinced.

My motivation for participating in Pleasanton politics has always been to further local democracy and protect neighborhoods from the impact of greedy and powerful interests. That’s exactly what I’m doing now. This whole Costco debacle has been deceitful, unfair to the residents, and a sterling example of local government corruption. My interests are personal? Hardly. My reward for this work has been to be “canceled” from the political world in Pleasanton. People that I have worked with and supported over a 20-year period and who used to support me in the political and civic arena in town will no longer even talk to me because of the Costco stigma. I have been erased as a political entity. So if I’m doing this for “personal gain” I have failed miserably. And no one is paying me to do it. And I’m not involved in San Ramon.


Posted by Matt Sullivan
a resident of Stoneridge
on Apr 16, 2021 at 9:13 am

Matt Sullivan is a registered user.

PTown Resident - I already know that your response to this will be the same simple-minded, reactionary response the Costco fans make when faced with a few facts that differ from their worldview. So don’t bother.

Bay Area Native – why do I need union support? I’m not running for anything and probably never will again. And what does Castlewood have to do with this? Just more of the same. Facts? See above.


Posted by Michael Austin
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Apr 16, 2021 at 11:42 am

Michael Austin is a registered user.

Matt Sullivan is disparaging with his commentary, "Costco Fanatics', "Spineless City Council".

Matt also is not being honest with his commentary. The agreement Costco and the City of Pleasanton have, is if Costco is bought out by a mega company or for any reason vacates the business, the City of Pleasanton debt will be forgiven.


Posted by Matt Sullivan
a resident of Stoneridge
on Apr 16, 2021 at 2:28 pm

Matt Sullivan is a registered user.

Michael,

Sorry you don’t like my comments, but the self-centered demands of the Costco fanatics and their indifference to the harm it will cause their fellow human beings (not to mention non-human beings) is but a tiny local example of our deeply dysfunctional society. For example. The aforementioned Mr. Bezos is the richest person on the planet and he got that way by exploiting his workforce, paying almost slave labor wages, and operating in sweat-shop conditions while being subsided by the taxpayers who fund food stamps and healthcare for his “associates”. Millions of people are homeless – made worse by COVID - but our government “can’t afford” the housing and necessary mental illness and drug addiction care that is desperately needed to address this problem. We can’t afford to help the homeless, but we can afford to spend half our taxes on a bloated military machine that wrecks death and destruction throughout the world to keep neoliberal capitalism alive while attempting to control the resources of most of the planet. Grotesque wealth inequality is worsening, made more extreme during COVID, with the top 0.1% of our society possessing more wealth than 70% or 80% of the rest of us while the middle-class shrinks and poverty is growing daily. Most people are struggling to survive economically, will never be able to retire, and will likely die in debt. Our workplaces are like battle zones with cutthroat competition and employees doing their best to undermine their co-workers so they can climb over them get ahead. Cooperative working is not possible. We are headed to climate Armageddon and massive species extinction (maybe even our own), while half of the government denies it’s happening and the other half tinkers around the edges so as to not upset their corporate benefactors. These are just a sample of what ails us.

(to be continued)


Posted by Matt Sullivan
a resident of Stoneridge
on Apr 16, 2021 at 2:30 pm

Matt Sullivan is a registered user.

(continued)

While Biden is light years better than Trump, and the timid democrats in congress are preferable to the sociopathic and dangerous republicans, no one at this level of society is doing anything to really address the problems I lay out above. Go ahead and call me a socialist if you like, but I think a little bit of socialism would help this country be more just and compassionate. It may even put us on par with other modern societies, such as Europe, Scandinavia, and Canada, who invest in their people and public goods rather than millionaires and billionaires like the US does.

Of course, you can’t say things like this in Pleasantville. It’s not polite (disparaging?) and may make some people unhappy and threaten their delusions of what their ideal society should be like. I guess it will just cement my standing as a “canceled” person in our enlightened community.


Posted by MichaelB
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Apr 16, 2021 at 3:58 pm

MichaelB is a registered user.

"Go ahead and call me a socialist if you like, but I think a little bit of socialism would help this country be more just and compassionate. It may even put us on par with other modern societies, such as Europe, Scandinavia, and Canada, who invest in their people and public goods rather than millionaires and billionaires like the US does."


You need some "help". There is nothing "just" nor "compassionate" by force of law that your neighbor's bank accounts, paychecks, retirement accounts, etc. belong to the "community" to be redistributed according to need. In addition to ignoring economics, all you are doing is creating division and incentivizing dependent/irresponsible behavior with this equality of outcomes (Marxist) mentality. There won't be enough rich people to tax to pay for all the "free" items the socialists want.

The government has spent trillions of dollars fighting poverty (throwing money at it) since Lyndon Johnson was President - and it's still here. The nation would be better served by voting the so called "progressives" out. They are only interested in more control over the people, they think money grows on trees, and their policies do not create jobs or increase economic growth.


Posted by Jeremy Walsh, editor
a resident of another community
on Apr 16, 2021 at 8:11 pm

Jeremy Walsh, editor is a registered user.

I am putting a temporary lock on this thread at least through the weekend in the hopes of preventing it from devolving into back-and-forths among a small number of specific users (as we're beginning to see) while also encouraging more respectful interaction in the future. I acknowledge various "objectionable comment" reports from readers in the past day, but at this point I see value in keeping all comments up as is, including posts that serve as on-the-record input from one of the proponents in the pending lawsuit against the city of Pleasanton over its JDEDZ/Costco approvals. Further review of individual posts may occur.


Posted by Jeremy Walsh, editor
a resident of another community
on Apr 19, 2021 at 1:06 pm

Jeremy Walsh, editor is a registered user.

I am reopening this thread for comment. Hopefully the conversation here will be continued in a respectful and thoughtful manner while avoiding the type of back-and-forth sniping our updated Town Square policy aims to curb. None of the prior comments will be edited or removed at this time.


Posted by Michael Austin
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Apr 19, 2021 at 8:48 pm

Michael Austin is a registered user.

Jeremy,

you are not being honest!
My "prior" comment was removed.


Posted by Gina Channell, Publisher
a resident of Downtown
on Apr 19, 2021 at 10:29 pm

Gina Channell, Publisher is a registered user.

@Micheal Austin ... That was not Jeremy. I removed that last comment because it was nothing more than an attack on another commenter and didn't further the conversation.

As Jeremy wrote, "hopefully the conversation here will be continued in a respectful and thoughtful manner while avoiding the type of back-and-forth sniping..."



Posted by Michael Austin
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Apr 20, 2021 at 7:46 am

Michael Austin is a registered user.

My "prior" comment was response to the "Costco Fanatic" comment directed at me and others. That comment remains intact.


Posted by Matt Sullivan
a resident of Stoneridge
on Apr 20, 2021 at 12:23 pm

Matt Sullivan is a registered user.

Michael B,

I'm not talking about Soviet-style communism or taking away people's bank accounts. I'm talking about European-style Social Democracy. You can read more about it here:

Web Link.


Posted by MichaelB
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Apr 20, 2021 at 1:10 pm

MichaelB is a registered user.

"I'm not talking about Soviet-style communism or taking away people's bank accounts. I'm talking about European-style Social Democracy."


You're talking about more of the class envy/government dependency stuff that we've heard many times before from Obama, Warren, Sanders, etc. The economy is fixed/will not expand, you are getting "ripped off" by a rich person, income/wealth are "rights", it's not "fair" that someone earns more than someone else, and the only way to "get ahead" is to take more from those who already have (with wealth taxes, higher income taxes, etc.).

Government does few things well, but "progressives" want it in charge of everything. The same people promoting this central planning/equality of results message are the same ones making it deliberately more difficult to start a business, create jobs, and employ people (that would lead to increased "income equality" for the citizens) because they are really only interested in more control over/less freedom for people.


Posted by Matt Sullivan
a resident of Stoneridge
on Apr 20, 2021 at 1:17 pm

Matt Sullivan is a registered user.

Michael B,

Let me ask you a question: Do you think our existing economic system works for the benefit of the majority of the people in the country? I own my own small business, so am not advocating for government to control all, but I think the answer to the question is unequivocally No.


Posted by j0hnwi11iams
a resident of Birdland
on Apr 25, 2021 at 10:46 am

j0hnwi11iams is a registered user.

The reason why development in CA have come to a virtual standstill is because of NIMBYs (Not in my back yard) are exploiting well intentioned regulations to stall projects indefinitely. They make appeals to all kinds of lofty professed concerns, but really the only thing they care about is their property values. No one should be fooled by these people who you can count on one or two hands for their opposition to development. NIMBYs are the number one reason you can't get anything done in this state, and over regulation is how they are enabled. That goes DOUBLE for lost cost housing.


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