After 15 years as an abandoned gas station, the corner of Braddock and Sepulveda will be getting a new 7-Eleven store.
At the end of a long meeting that also approved expansion for both the Willows Community School and the Help Group, (see above) the council voted 4 to 1 to give Southland Corporation a slice of real estate just down the street from the school complex on Elenda. The council called the vote until just short of 1 am, denying the appeal of many neighbors who spoke at the podium. The Southland Corporation has been the only business interested in rehabilitating that site.
Casting the sole “no” vote, Meghan Sahli-Wells offered that it might be time to look into the planning code in regard to the number of convenience stores needed in the city. There are already five 7-Eleven stores in Culver City.
According to LACurbed, “One of the council asked the appealing neighbors what they would like to see on the site and how they would like to see the project improved. The 15 or so neighbors in attendance started squabbling among themselves about what the best use would be and how the 7-Eleven project could be improved. The developer hopes to start construction on the project soon.”
Ok, everyone is entitled to interpret what they see and hear.
As I read the comments from Neal Broverman’s post on http://la.curbed.com – I have to respectfully disagree with the characterization of the residents who appealed the decision of the Planning Commission with regards to the proposed 7-Eleven last Monday evening. I can say that as one of the 15 or so neighbors present who put up part of the $1,500 for the appeal, we were not “squabbling among ourselves” about what we would like to see at that location. We are individuals who answered the question asked, which included several different options. All answers were directed toward the Council person, not at each other.
Personally I would like to see a great Italian restaurant with outdoor seating and adequate parking for it’s patrons, unlike almost all other great & friendly restaurants in the area with no parking. Other concerned residents at the appeal hearing had other ideas, which they voiced to the councilperson. I heard no squabbled about anything! My ultimate wish would be a parking lot or parking structure with solar powered lighting which could be used occasionally for a farmers market, art show or for community music or other performing arts uses. It would make the quality of life much better for the residents and increase revenues for business owners in the area. When the parking meters go back on Sepulveda it will do the business and residents more harm than good.
Our neighborhood group did point out the true fact that the Planning Commission approved the project based on a traffic and pedestrian study that we thought was inaccurate and did not reflect the true reality of the activity in the area. We also pointed out that the basis of the study was flawed as to it’s premise of access and exit to the sight – plus the incorrect math, of course.
The Culver City traffic expert, so say, was present at the study and put his mark of approval as to accuracy during both of the Planning Commission hearings and the City Council hearing last Monday evening. After we pointed out our observations and some simple math, the City Traffic manager admitted that the report was not accurate. The City Council went on to deny our appeal with no further study and the logic of ” If it doesn’t work out, we’ll fix it later.”
Mention was made by one Council person that the City Council was going to be asking the residents for a tax increase soon which gave me the impression they felt that residents might criticize them for halting a project or even for making sure there was less possibility of injury to some school age resident, which might get in the way of them getting their tax increase.
I think the fact that the traffic study prepared and presented in three Culver City public hearings to make sure that the safety of the area would be not adversely affected by the project, paid for by the developer and presented by the City Traffic manager was not accurate would at least be worth mentioning.
Richard – How is the study inaccurate ? If you can post some specifics, that would be helpful – What math is incorrect ? Give us the figures and I will post them –
Another gas station would be welcomed, as would a car repair station which doesn’t stay open for 24 hours; a dry cleaner; a parking lot for all the businesses on Sepulveda – the city has NO requirement for mandatory parking for business employees or customers. The building is UGLY beyond compare and will truly be an eyesore…thus causing more accidents as passers gasp at the sight of it. Vagrancy will be invited; the bus stop will be hindered by the delivery trucks to the facility. One person at the meeting said that in 3.6 square miles there were a total of 25 7Elevens. No we do not need another. Sahli-Wells stated that the next time this comes up the City should look at it more carefully…well you know what, all those current council members will be long gone and conveniently, nobody will be able to find her reference to that comment. It has happened in the past.
As one councilman put, just before approving it, we should changed our city slogan from “screenland” to “sevenelevenland”. Funny how our little town is mirroring the national debate: should we invest in our communities for the future of our children or should we “flip” a corner and make a quick buck on real state, should we worry about cigarettes and alcohol close to our schools or should we bring the most revenue as possible to the city coffers, invest in the corridor character or make a profit…this is my third or four involvement with the city council and I am coming to the conclusion that electing businessman to represent us is an oxymoron, residents will always loose to the commerce and business perspective – the only community organizer was our only vote…the corridor should have a specific use plan, just like downtown culver (do you think the other business downtown would allow a 7/11?)
I am sure there were other options for the place, the problem was that they weren’t as profitable. When things get tough, fly-by-nite churches and liquor stores prosper – drive thru some south central streets and you will see