Rancho Cucamonga, California, Declares A Moratorium On Service Station Development Projects

April 23, 2021 – Mark Gutglueck, The San Bernardino County Sentinel

The Foothill Tax Payer Association opposes new code regulations for services stations. Contact Linnie Drolet to include your name on their email list @ foothilltaxpayersassociation@gmail.com

In a move hailed by both environmentalists and futurists and conversely decried by free marketeers, the City of Rancho Cucamonga this week put a 45-day moratorium on the approval of new or the revamping of old service stations within its city limits. The vote by the council puts on hold or will perhaps impede permanently the construction of two pending new gas stations and the revival of two currently shuttered filling stations.

The council action sets the stage for the eventual adaptation of standards intended toward facilitating the so-called net zero carbon target, which originally six years ago was to entail a stabilization in the use of fossil fuels throughout the entirety of California at 2015 levels by the end of this year going forward even in the face of further state population growth and development. Zero carbon target advocates have more recently reset the fossil fuel use stabilization goal at the year 2030.

On March 17, 2021, the city council asked city staff to gather information pertaining to and conduct some analysis of gas stations in the city of Rancho Cucamonga in order to give that decision-making panel some direction with regard to the regulation of gas stations and their future development as to be overseen by the city and its planning division.

On Wednesday afternoon, April 21, 2021 the council considered and later that evening signed off on a set of findings that grew out of the municipal planning division’s inquiry along the lines the council suggested on March 17. At a specially-called afternoon session devoted to the consideration of the city’s future policy with regard to filling stations that was intended to augment the city council’s regularly scheduled meeting that night, Planning Director Anne Browning McIntosh said, “We have had a recent activity in our planning department and building and safety [division] around service stations that we haven’t seen for other commercial uses.”

Dan Titus, a resident of the Alta Loma district of Rancho Cucamonga, in comments provided in writing to the city council, disputed multiple elements of the findings.

“Staff claims that ‘The analysis of issues related to service stations makes clear that service stations pose a threat to public health, safety, and welfare and the city must evaluate new regulations to address that threat,’” Titus wrote. “Citing that service stations are a ‘threat’ is a bold statement, especially in the context of public health, safety and welfare. Staff cites police service calls as a primary criteria in determination that service stations are a ‘threat.’ However, no other statistics were offered, for a baseline comparison of other business classifications, liquor stores, salons, etc.

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