Development representative John Sullivan makes a point on the shopping center maps for Rancho Murieta's members of the Cosumnes Community Planning Advisory Council, from left, Jim Moore and John Merchant. (Click for larger image)
The Cosumnes Community Planning Advisory Council gave unanimous approval Wednesday night to plans for a convenience store, gas station, car wash and fast-food outlet in the new supermarket shopping center south of Jackson Road. The meeting also offered tidbits about the shopping center and what Murietans may find there in the coming months.
The applicants, Bhupinder and Manpreet Sandhu, sought a use permit for a service station with 12 fuel pumps and a carwash as well as a fast-food restaurant with a drive-through within 300 feet of residential zoning. The exterior design of the business is available as a file attachment at the end of this story.
Here are some shopping-center tidbits from the meeting:
- The convenience store the Sandhus plan is a Circle K; the gas station is Shell; the fast-food restaurant is Subway. The Sandhus own the Subway across the street in Murieta Plaza, and they will move that franchise to the new shopping center.
- The shopping center will include a Taco Bell, according to John Sullivan, representing the overall commercial development.
- El Dorado Savings Bank will move into the new shopping center, directly behind the existing Country Store and Burger King, Sullivan said.
- Sullivan said the supermarket, a Bel Air, part of the Raley’s chain, could begin construction this winter and be open in October 2019. In addition to the weather, the construction start is dependent on the commercial development reaching a 70 percent leasing threshold, which is very near, he said.
- With Bel Air open next year, the other businesses could be open in early 2020, Sullivan said.
- The center is also in negotiations to include a neighborhood, non-chain pharmacy, he said. He said the Raley’s lease specifies that a small pharmacy will be allowed five years to build up its business before Raley’s could consider putting in its own drug center.
- Sullivan suggested that Murietans who live on the North will find the best way to access the shopping center will be to drive across Jackson Road and take a left into the shopping center instead of turning onto Jackson and entering the center from there. Customers from Murieta South will want to take the new left turn created for the shopping center on Jackson Road, he said.
- When Murietan John Merchant, a CCPAC member, asked what other businesses might be moving from Murieta Plaza across to the new development, Sullivan would only confirm Subway and El Dorado Savings. “I’d tell you more if I was a hundred percent sure,” he said.
- Acknowledging it’s not the developers’ problem, Merchant asked about the new center’s impact on Murieta Plaza. Sullivan said Murieta Plaza is 30 years old and it’s “time to freshen it up.” He added, “When Raley’s moves out and comes across the street, they’ll have to figure out what the utility of that (supermarket) space is.” He suggested it might make a good home for an enlarged Ace Hardware.
- Jim Moore, another Murietan serving on CCPAC, asked whether the area will support a second service station. Sullivan said Raley’s lease allows it to put in one of its own service stations, and it would have done that if this plan hadn’t been satisfactory.
- Sullivan said the Raley’s analysis of the service area for the shopping center takes in about 30,000 people today, which will grow to 40,000. In addition to Rancho Murieta, it would serve to Plymouth, Ione, Dillard Road, the northeast part of Vineyard and Sunrise Boulevard, he said.
Two CCPAC members asked about the development’s proximity to Rancho Murieta Airport. Sullivan said there’s an easement restricting building height and use at the eastern end of the commercial project, in the airport flight path, but otherwise, Caltrans and the Federal Aviation Administration reviewed and approved the development plans.
The impacted residential land in the Sandhus’ request is a small piece of the undeveloped lot across Jackson Road, south of the Rancho Murieta Association Building. A RanchoMurieta.com story Tuesday was incorrect when it said the residential area in question is part of the Murieta Gardens development, 78 homes planned for south of Jackson Road in the midst of the new shopping center and hotel. Those homes were approved as part of the commercial development, Sullivan told the CCPAC members.
Kevin Messerschmitt, associate planner for the county, said the request included amplified sound in the drive-through lane, a higher-than-allowed canopy roof over the fuel pumps, extended hours of operation (5 a.m. to 11 p.m.) and the modification of some landscaping requirements.
The county Design Review Advisory Committee met in August and September and approved the project, Messerschmitt said.
Sullivan said the order-taking box in the drive-through lane won’t have amplified sound; it will be a touch screen. He answered questions about other design considerations as well.
Moore made the motion to approve the proposal, and it was seconded by Merchant.
The proposal endorsed by CCPAC – which is only an advisory body to the county – must still be approved by the county Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors.