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Letters to the Editor: Addition of Gas Pumps to One Stop Store Near Schools in Oceanside

I believe the addition of the gas pumps at Temple Heights & Oceanside Blvd is a serious wrong & would appreciate your news group reporting this so others can be involved.  I would prefer not to have my name & address listed but please call to confirm if you need to.

Here is the letter I sent to Sergio Madera, the Oceanside Project Planner-

I have received the letter from the City of Oceanside regarding the request to allow the additions of a six pump fuel dispensing facility to One Stop Food Mart at the corner of Temple Heights and Oceanside Blvd.  As the owner of real property within 1500 feet I would like to submit these written opposition comments.  I am very opposed to this proposal for many reasons as listed below and will be fighting against this addition.

As a resident of Guajome Estates I oppose this proposal for the following reasons with some backup to the allegations:

    1. Temple Heights Elementary – Grades K-5 –663 children exposed to noxious fumes & traffic while in school
    2. Montessori School children —  programs for Infant Program, Toddler Program, Pre-Primary Program & Primary Program – children exposed to noxious fumes & traffic while in school
    3. SIA Tech Charter School  – High School students ages 16-24–40 Students exposed to noxious fumes & traffic
      a)The California Air Resources Board publication Air Quality and Land Use Handbook: A Community Health    Perspective, recommends a minimum 300-foot separation distance between gas stations and “sensitive land    uses such as residences, schools, daycare centers, playgrounds, or medical facilities.” The State of California is   widely recognized as having some of the most effective air pollution control requirements in the nation. Yet even    with these controls a minimum separation is still required to protect public health.
    4.   A California study noted a 50% increase in smoking among adolescents exposed to tobacco advertising during weekly visits to small grocery, convenience or liquor stores;
    5. Animal Hospital – sick animals exposed to noxious fumes 24 hours a day.
    6. Already too much car traffic at intersection which is also only entrance to Guajome Estates until Melrose Dr.  “As a rough rule of thumb, each proposed pump at a gas station generates about 100 to 130 trips per day. (The proposal is for 6 pumps or 12 fueling positions).  By “pump” we mean fueling position. The convenience store will generate 800 to 1,200 trips per day per 1,000 square feet. So a 1,000 square foot store with 12 pumps would generate around 1100 to 1590 trips per day. “
    7. Fumes of benzene (cancer causing agent)leaking causing exposure 24 hours a day to children, seniors and families in neighborhood. —   “A number of compounds injurious to human health are released while fueling a vehicles. Health effects range from nausea to cancer. The cancer risk posed by gas station emissions stems from benzene and other compounds released to the atmosphere while pumping gas.”
    8. Threat of gas station robbery —  “There are over 7000 robberies each year at gas stations and 15,000 at convenience stores which is disproportionate in relation to other businesses.” “gas stations are magnets for criminals, both that rob your store and drive off without paying for the gas.” “…most gas stations are often frequented by some interesting people particularly in the late and early morning hours.” Convenience store hold-ups account for about 6% of all robberies in the nation. One study noted that: “Convenience store employees suffer from high rates of workplace homicide, second only to taxicab drivers.””
    9. Gas tank leakage into soil & water — . “Because of the high traffic volume and refueling, convenience stores-gas stations pose an unusually severe threat to ground and surface waters.Adding vehicle servicing facilities increases the threat. One study found that contaminant levels in convenience store-gas station runoff were 5- to 30-times higher when compared to residential runoff. In another study researchers detected several compounds in vehicle repair facility runoff which were probable cancer-causing agents. “
    10. No easy entrances or exits to gas pumps from both sides — this lot seems too small to allow oil delivery trucks to enter/ exit and move around without danger to other vehicles and pedestrians.
    11. Need to move bus stop already established —
    12. Two gas stations less than a mile away in either direction on Oceanside —
    13. Site had a sinkhole on it for at least 15 years.–yes it has been fixed but it took years
    14. Extra traffic negatively impacts walkers and bikers in neighborhood
    15. Restaurants close (5 if you count the donut place) by will be adversely affected by noise & smell –
    16. Light pollution with gas station  lit up 24 hours to avoid stealing gas –
    17. Noise pollution– especially if there will be car service/oil changes/car tire repair — CEDS recommends a minimum separation of 300 feet between homes and late-night/all-night stores.
    18. Threat of gas explosion and fire
    19. Loss of property value — a gas station does not enhance the feel of the neighborhood  “People will be driving in and out of your intersection, hanging out at the property, and buying lots of lotto tickets, cigarettes, and beer when they gas up. Although handy, these shops do nothing to help property values and hurt them significantly according to Zillow.com.”  ” To be honest, none of us who write for this website would want to live next door to a gas station either. If they have a convenience store attached, and almost every station that is built right now does, then they become a much bigger nuisance. Those with a store may generate lots of extra traffic.  As you point out, a station with a store opens up the potential for your kids wanting and being able to buy candy and general junk all too easily, not to mention cigarettes and liquor if they are teenagers.  In addition, you have to be worried about what kinds of silly behavior your children may see right next to their home.(or school).  Federal Housing Administration (FHA) insured mortgages are not available for properties located within 300 feet of tanks capable of storing 1,000 gallons or more of gasoline or other flammable-explosive materials. This restriction appears in Section 2-2M of the HUD Handbook Valuation Analysis for Single Family One- to Four- Unit Dwellings. Most gas station storage tanks have a capacity far in excess of 1,000 gallons.”
    20. Profits at any cost? –“Fuels sales account for about a third of profits while merchandise sales account for the rest.”…”actual gas station owners most will tell you the gas is just a way to get people to the location and they actually make their  money on cigarettes, soft drinks, coffee, and snack foods.” as well as lotto tickets. “…most gas stations are often frequented by some interesting people particularly in the late and early morning hours.”  A gas station will change the neighborhood for the worse, not the better.
    21. How is it possible to put such a hazard so close to 3 schools and a veterinary clinic?


     Good & Bad Convenience Store-Station Locations


    Given the impacts and corrective measures described above, an optimum convenience store-gas station location would have the following characteristics:

    1. Following are examples from around the U.S. of various safeguards with regard to the public health effects of air pollutants released at gas stations:
    • Islip, NY:No gasoline service station premises shall be permitted to locate within 200 feet of a school, playground, recreation center, public library, or church, except as hereinafter provided.
    • Blaine, MN: Automobile service station and minor auto repair. Gasoline sales must be a minimum of one thousand (1,000) feet from public school buildings that serve students primarily in grades 6th through 12th and a minimum of four hundred (400) feet from public school buildings that serve students primarily in grades Kindergarten through 5th Grade.
    • Montgomery County, MD: Any Filling Station facility designed to dispense a minimum of 3.6 million gallons per year must be located at least 500 feet from the lot line of any public or private school, or any park, playground, day care center, or any outdoor use categorized as a civic and institutional use or a Recreation and Entertainment use.
    • Borough of Bergenfield, NJ: Location of exits and entrances. No gas station, or vehicular repair service shop shall be located within 300 feet of the following uses when located along the same street or the same block: schools, playgrounds, churches, hospitals, libraries, institutions for dependent children, or other similar places of public assembly.

    Here are examples of other safeguards:

    • New Hampshire:DES’s rules for the siting of UST (Underground Storage Tank) systems at new sites include the following setbacks:

    o    500′ from public water supplies (PWSs)

    o    250′ between gasoline USTs and private wells

    o    75′ between any UST and surface water.

    • Citrus Heights, CA:Distance requirements. No on-sale or off-sale liquor establishment shall be maintained within 500 feet of any other on-sale or off-sale liquor establishment, or within 500 feet from the following “consideration points”: Schools (public or private); Churches or other places of worship; Hospitals, clinics, or other health care facilities; and 4. Public parks and playgrounds and other similar uses.

    If you’re concerned about a proposed establishment and your local zoning ordinance lack these safeguards, then consider asking local elected officials for an amendment. If a convenience store-gas station application has or is about to be submitted then consider asking that it and all other applications be put on hold while officials study the best way to update zoning requirements.

    Recommendations for siting criteria can be found in the preceding section of this webpage headed Good & Bad Convenience Store-Station Locations.


—Name and address withheld by request