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 needs to be more thoroughly reviewed for environmental impacts.
Submitted to the Contra Costa County Superior Court on March 19 on behalf of citizen group Safer San Ramon, the suit contends that -- contrary to the city's claim -- the project is not exempt from review from the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), due to the significant impacts the project would have on the area.
"There is no substantial evidence in the record before the city to support the city's finding that the project would not result in any significant effects relating to traffic, noise, air quality or water quality. There is substantial evidence before the city that the project will in fact result in significant effects relating to traffic, noise, air quality and/or water quality," reads the lawsuit by Safer San Ramon -- an unincorporated group of residents from both Danville and San Ramon who say they would be affected by the project.
Petitioners are seeking to have the court set aside the City Council's approval of the project and force the city to reconsider after a full CEQA review has been conducted.
In addition to a desire for further review under the state's environmental protection act, petitioners have taken issue with perceived traffic, noise and air quality concerns that would result from the project.
Officials from the city of San Ramon did not respond to requests for comment about the merits of the lawsuit on Tuesday. During the public review process, the city determined that the in-fill project was exempt from CEQA based on the ultimately less than significant effects it would have on the area.
Safer San Ramon is the same residential group responsible for filing an appeal over the project back in January, citing similar environmental concerns over traffic, air quality and noise concerns, further believing at that time that studies on the project's environmental effects were not sufficiently explored.
Initially approved by the San Ramon Planning Commission on Dec. 15 and then upheld by the City Council on Feb. 11, the 32-pump gas station is designed to replace the Office Depot site on Fostoria Way in San Ramon and service the Costco Wholesale store located across the street within the Danville town limits.
The project would also include a 12,663-square-foot canopy with signage on all sides, three 40,000-gallon underground storage tanks, one 1,500 underground storage tank, an approximately 200-square-foot control facility and associated site improvements and landscape enhancement on the 2.88-acre lot.
Safer San Ramon is being represented by M.R. Wolfe and Associates, which is the same law firm representing Pleasanton Citizens for Responsible Growth in their lawsuit against the city of Pleasanton over approvals for the Johnson Drive Economic Development Zone, including a proposed new Costco store with gas station, just south of the I-680 and I-580 interchange. That case has advanced to the state appellate court after PCRG challenged an Alameda County Superior Court judge's rejection of its petition.