Rendering of proposed Valero station
  • Rendering of proposed Valero station
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While 2499 Pacific Highway in the Little Italy neighborhood is currently an empty lot with a former car-rental office building, it could become a Valero service station. Civic San Diego has started the approval process for applicant Orams Enterprises, Inc., of Lakeside, with initial hearings set for January.

The application for Laurel Pacific Valero proposes a one-story gas station (two three-pump islands) with 3110 square feet of retail space and an attached 900-square-foot car wash, plus ten parking spots. A conditional use permit is required for the automobile service station and for off-site sale of alcoholic beverages (beer and wine).

The site is on the southeast corner of Pacific Highway and Laurel Street. The San Diego County assessor previously appraised the property at $1,425,000 (including $125,000 for the existing building on the site).

Marco Li Mandri, administrator of the Little Italy Association, said that “if they are proposing to sell alcohol out of their convenience store, we will oppose it.” Li Mandri added: “I am surprised that such land uses are allowable under the Downtown Specific Plan. We will be meeting as our community advisory board to make recommendations.”

Gary Smith, president of the San Diego Downtown Residents Group, has mixed feelings. Smith said with the Shell station across Laurel, competition would be good and “should stop any possible price gouging.” Plus, being “under airport approach, [it’s] not good for a lot of uses,” he said. But Smith sees “ground seepage always a future concern, even if the state thinks new regulations are effective.”

The Downtown Community Planning Council pre-design subcommittee will meet January 10 at 5:15 p.m. The next day the CivicSD real estate subcommittee will meet at 9 a.m. Both meetings will take place downtown at 401 B Street, suite 400.

According to its website, Valero Energy Corp., a Fortune 500 company based in San Antonio, is “the world's largest independent petroleum refiner” with “15 petroleum refineries with a combined throughput capacity of approximately 3 million barrels per day.” Valero does not own its retail locations, per a company response.

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Comments

AlexClarke Dec. 20, 2016 @ 6:52 a.m.

Smith said with the Shell station across Laurel, competition would be good and “should stop any possible price gouging.” Yea, right. What an idiot. Prices may be a few cents higher but in that area motorists are going to pay the highest prices. A gas station under the flight path is a really good idea.

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dwbat Dec. 20, 2016 @ 8:06 a.m.

These are that Shell's prices as of December 19, when I shot this photo.

None

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jnojr Dec. 21, 2016 @ 9:13 a.m.

I know what my solution to that particular problem is!

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jnojr Dec. 21, 2016 @ 9:13 a.m.

I'll never understand the people who weep and wring their hands about "Oh, no, another store will sell beer, it's the end of the world!" Like someone's going to be walking by and say, "Oh, hey, wow, a new place to buy booze, I should go in and get absolutely obliterated!" And even if they did... so what? News flash, pansies: someone who wants to drink is already doing it.

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TommyB Dec. 21, 2016 @ 11:39 a.m.

I may be wrong, but I've always thought that people complain because they feel that liquor stores tend to attract more "riff raff" to an area. I'm not sure how accurate that actually is, but on the surface it sometimes looks that way. When you're in a "bad" area, there tends to be more liquor stores.

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dwbat Dec. 21, 2016 @ 1:12 p.m.

This isn't a bad area. It's an industrial zone mostly, with Solar Turbines across the street. And there's a Motel 6 south of the site, a nearby self-storage place, and car rental businesses. It's a car-centric spot, not really meant for pleasant walking.

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dwbat Dec. 24, 2016 @ 8:35 p.m.

To Harold Aranda on Facebook: I don't know the reason for opposition to alcohol sales there. I expect Mr. Li Mandri to explain after his meeting of the community advisory board.

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dwbat April 12, 2017 @ 11:53 a.m.

The CivicSD board will vote on this project, Wed., April 26, at 401 B Street, Suite 400. Meeting starts at 1 pm.

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dwbat April 28, 2017 @ 2 p.m.

April 28 update: The project underwent design changes. And the CUP (Conditional Use Permit) for off-site sale of alcoholic beverages was approved for beer and wine only. The statement from CivicSD: "The Civic San Diego (CivicSD) Board of Directors voted 9-0 to grant Design Review approval, and approval of Centre City Development Permit/Coastal Development Permit/Centre City Planned Development Permit/Conditional Use Permit No. 2016-30 for the Laurel Pacific Valero project."

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