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The San Juan Bautista Planning Commission chose at last night’s meeting to schedule a special meeting to examine the proposed gas station and commercial business/restaurant at the intersection of Hwy 156 and The Alameda, in front of the San Juan Inn and across from the Windmill Plaza. The project is for a 6,000 sq ft commercial building with two commercial components; a retail space and, a fueling station. As currently designed, there will be no access or exit from Hwy 156, access and exit would be from The Alameda.

The proposed project has been altered to reflect the Commissioners concerns and input during the Informal Project Review at last month’s meeting. Two of the Planning Commissioners, Chair Ernest Franco and Commissioner Pat Garrat were not present at that meeting, but were present for this month’s meeting.

The applicant, Harvey Dadwal, was present and indicated his willingness to work with the Planning Commission and the community to create a project which will work.

There was concern expressed by residents about the inclusion of a fast food restuarant in the project, since the city’s ordinances presently prohibit “formula businesses” and drive through restaurants. The City has been in the process of looking at rescinding the language in the ordinance which prohibits these businesses.

The design of the project has been changed to be less Southwestern and to fit with the architecture of the San Juan Inn. There was also concern about the impact on traffic at the intersection. The design which seems to have gained favor is one which shares a driveway with the San Juan Inn, to give vehicles room to move around the difficult corner turning on to The Alameda from Hwy 156.

The City is communicating with CALTRANS to determine it’s plans for the intersection in the upcoming widening project to see if there are choices which can be made to improve the location. 

The Special Meeting and has been scheduled for January 23 at 9:00am in the Council Chambers at City Hall. The public is invited to give their input either in person, or via email.