This Subject Web page remains Under Construction; Last Updated: July 29, 2018
Double Click on underlined blue hyperlinks to access related websites, web pages, and documents.
Subscriber Responses to Inform Sunol Surveys
Of the (30) respondents below, 63% oppose the proposed Cannabis-Retail on Andrade Road project, while 27% support the project and 10% are either neutral or not sure about the project. These comments were received between June 14th and June 21st, 2018:
Archive of Articles, Documents, and Links
Commercial Cannabis Regulation in Unincorporated Alameda County (Click on this link to visit the Community Development Agency webpage)
June 14, 2018
Cannabis in Sunol: Grow & Retail
2.) FIFTEEN YEAR EXPERIENCED SUPPLIER WANTS
“They are now talking about 1500 additional Cars per day,” said Sunolian Mike Picard. “Initially, they were predicting 300 – 500 cars per day and the retail product would be strictly Medical Cannabis, now anyone would be able to buy pot there.”
Representing several of his Andrade and Sheridan Road neighbors, Mike Picard feels like he has faced an uphill battle since the day a couple of his neighbors learned that a medical marijuana retail operation was being proposed for next door to the Sunol Super Stop gas station near the Andrade Road exit from Interstate 680.
In the middle of December, Andrade ranch residents within 1000 feet of the property received notice of the plan to locate the Cannabis retail operation on the property of the now shut down driving range and learned that they only had a short amount of time to file an appeal by January 2nd. “The way the notice was presented right over the holidays does not seem like open communication nor transparency,” advised Picard.
As it turns out, the county had been working on looking for a retail medical pot operation for quite some time. When speaking against the proposal, Picard has been questioned by county staff, ‘We have been on this process for a year or two, where have you been?’ The Sunol resident has also been challenged on why the neighbors are protesting with the implication that there is nothing they can do. Picard contends that a couple of meeting announcement posters stapled to telephone poles on a street with a 40 MPH speed limit does not constitute sufficient notice.
The Sunolian says he has faced opposition at every turn from the county and even from a few residents from other parts of the Sunol Valley. Comments he has heard include, “What’s the big deal, its next to the Gas Station?”, “Medical Marijana is here to stay, why fight it?” and “People need medical cannabis to cope with challenges from PTSD to sleep,” Nevertheless, Picard contends the residents he represents are less concerned about the product itself because the real issue is the increased traffic impact.
“The most important issue is the huge increase in traffic that this retail operation would bring to an already grid-locked portion of I680,” said Picard, “The proposed retail business is now being compared to a ‘Golf Driving Range with a Restaurant’ and the traffic forecast has risen three-fold from the original 500 to 1500 cars per day. Who in Sunol wants to add that much traffic to the street that they live on?”
The Sunol resident says he represents about 80% of the residents living on Andrade and Sheridan Road. Nevertheless, he says he has twice been rebuffed from being able to address the Sunol Advisory Committee meeting about the issues even after filling out a speakers card which he expected would allow him 3 minutes of the SCAC’s attention.
“During a recent meeting, we had about a dozen of our neighbors each prepared to speak on a different aspect of the impact this retail proposal would have on our neighborhood. We filled out our speaker cards, but the meeting chair told us that ‘we need to keep this meeting short and we don’t have time for multiple people to talk about this’ and we were denied the opportunity to be heard,” reported the Sunol resident.
“Put yourself in our shoes, if the county announced they would put a Starbucks at the corner of Kilkare and Foothill, how would people feel about that? Of course, we all would love to have the convenience of the product, but can you think of anyone who would want the additional major traffic impact on their street?” said Picard.
On the subject of product demand, Picard questions the Sunol location as appropriate for serving its customers. “You would think that a retail business would want to be located where there is demand for the product. To buy cannabis in Sunol, a customer will have to get in their car and drive a distance on 680 which is wall to wall cars, and there is no public transportation. Wouldn’t a business like this prefer to be located where there is better traffic flow and public transportation like buses, taxies, and BART?”
When officials point to the fact that California voters chose to be able to buy cannabis and that the county has to do this to respond to the voters will, Mike Picard explained that both Pleasanton and Fremont have rejected retail marijuana in their city limits. “California voters did not say that we have no choice and that a marijuana store should be put on Andrade Road. In fact, I disagree because we collectively do have a choice in properly locating any high traffic demand business.”
The Andrade-Sheridan resident would like Sunol residents to band together in opposition the way Sunolians did a dozen years ago when a proposed compost dump was slated for Andrade Road potentially bringing with it a considerable truck traffic impact. Picard said, “Supervisor Haggerty became a hero in Sunol when he shut down the proposal in a public meeting. This would be a great opportunity for Scott Haggerty to step up again to protect Sunol from yet another high traffic impact proposal that is not appropriate for our area.”