Correction: The previous version of this ariticle stated that the project would be considered by the City Council. The project has been approved by the Planning Commission and will only be considered by the City Council, if there is an appeal of the approval.
At their regular February meeting, the San Juan Bautista Planning Commission reviewed the proposed gas station and commercial project at the intersection of Hwy 156 and The Alameda at the Northern Gateway of the City. The Developer again made his presentation to the Planning Commission and to the public. This Public Hearing was continued from the January 23rd Special Meeting.
The Planning Commissioners spoke of the efforts the applicant has made to incorporate their concerns and their approval of the present project as did members of the public. In discussion of the occupant of the restaurant, the applicant stated that the restaraunt did not necessarily have to be a franchise. The applicant gave his word that if there was someone local who wished to apply to operate the restaurant in the proposed project, they would be considered as long as they were qualified.
The Developer and Business Owner, the architect, and the engineer, all noted their opinion that the project has been improved from their original project with the inclusion of concerns and suggestions by the public. Several people, including Richard Ponce, Mirjana Tomas, Kristina Wyatt spoke in support of the project’s approval. No one at the meeting spoke in opposition to the project, though Cara Vonk submitted a written statement of her concerns.
There was a request from the attorney for Frank Leal, who is in escrow to purchase the adjoining San Juan Inn property, to continue the decision until they have had time to study the 40 mitigations that are imposed upon the project. The Planning Commission decided to make a decision that night and not to make the applicant wait any longer. It was noted by the Commission that Mr. Leal was not yet the owner of the neighboring property, but only in escrow.
Commissioner Pat Garrat moved and the Planning Commission voted unanmously to approve the project. Commissioner Wanda Guibert thanked Mr. Leal for attending the meeting and hoped that the two businesses, can work together to improve San Juan.