A Sacramento developer is asking the Sebastopol City Council to overturn the city design review board's rejection of a design for the controversial CVS Pharmacy and Chase Bank.
It was the third design that Armstrong Development Inc. had submitted for the proposed project, a pharmacy and bank branch at the site of the vacant Pellini Chevrolet dealership.
Sebastopol Planning Director Kenyon Webster said the appeal was not surprising. The project has been the subject of more than a dozen sometimes contentious meetings.
"They want to build the project and the board denied it, they are hoping the council will view the situation differently," Webster said.
Armstrong officials did not return calls seeking comment Thursday, but have previously said that they believe they have met all the city guidelines.
The proposal has received the major approvals needed to move forward, except for the design. The current design proposal, the third, was denied by the city design review board on May 30.
The board in its findings said that the design is out of character with the downtown Sebastopol core area, and is a suburban-style plan that devotes too much area to parking, drive-throughs and driveways.
Specifically, the board wanted Armstrong to eliminate a Petaluma Avenue driveway and parking spaces, add storefronts, enlarge a plaza, redesign Abbott Avenue and add a crosswalk and relocate others.
The board denied the Armstrong design proposal on a 4-1 vote, with board Chairman Zachary Douch voting for it.
The developer wants to build a 14,576-square-foot pharmacy and 4,327-square-foot bank branch on 2.4 acres at a cost of $10 million. CVS and Chase would move to the site from locations elsewhere in Sebastopol.
The City Council has already ruled in favor of one appeal filed by Armstrong Development, finding that its impact report did not need a separate traffic study. The council, however, has also turned down an appeal by Armstrong challenging the Design Review Board's rejection of a previous design.
The City Council on Tuesday will consider setting a public hearing on the appeal for July 17 and call a special council meeting on July 19 to make a decision.
You can reach Staff Writer Bob Norberg at 521-5206 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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