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Dollar Tree appeals Planning Commission decision

By Jonathan Morales
Tuesday, September 21st, 2010 at 4:04 pm in Moraga.

dollartreeIt didn’t take long for someone to appeal the Moraga Planning Commission’s decision on the Dollar Tree application. But the appeal has come not from residents opposed to the store, but from Dollar Tree itself.

Here’s the e-mail sent to Planning Director Lori Salamack by Dollar Tree attorney Scott Kipnis:

As you know, we are national real estate counsel to Dollar Tree Stores, Inc. (“Dollar Tree”). In reference to the planning commission hearing held yesterday, September 20, 2010, and in accordance with our conversation of today, Dollar Tree as applicant hereby appeals the conditions of approval imposed upon Dollar Tree’s approved permitted use. Dollar Tree will provide a detailed basis of the appeal within the time set forth in the Municipal Code, Moraga California, Title 8, Chapter 8.12 upon its receipt of the written details setting forth the scope and nature of the conditions of use which Dollar Tree finds objectionable.

Dollar Tree representative Linda Duncan on Monday said the store felt many of the conditions of approval were subjective and thus unfair, but declined to say specifically which conditions Dollar Tree found objectionable.

At least one resident opposed to the store had told the commission they would appeal if the application was approved, but now that isn’t necessary. The hearing before the Town Council will be a “de novo” hearing, meaning the council will treat it as a new hearing on the matter and all issues relating to the application can be raised. Because of that, said planning assistant Kelly Clancy, the town only takes one appeal.

But for opponents of the Dollar Tree, that’s an important distinction. If they had gotten their appeal in first, the opponents would be considered the formal appellants and thus granted allotted time equal to that granted the Dollar Tree (as applicants) at the hearing. But now the Dollar Tree is both applicant and appellant, meaning opponents will be limited to the public comment period (and its ensuing three-minute time limit) and e-mails or letters to the town.

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One Response to “Dollar Tree appeals Planning Commission decision”

  1. Donald Lively Says:

    I don’t ordinarily comment on a neighboring community’s affairs. But, since we are regular patrons of various Rheem enterprises, our sales taxes for same, go to Moraga’s coffers. And beside – i would like to avoid trips to Pleasant Hill to patronize that Dollar Tree.

    What I think is being missed in the current controversy, is that Dollar Tree and “99 Cents Only”, provide offerings which are not necessarily to be found in one place in most communities. The firm provides, not only some “bargain prices”, but it also offers a variety of items that otherwise require a considerable amount of traveling to locate.

    Finally, I can’t buy into the “cultural angle of opposition”. I’m sure there would be no opposition by the D/T critics, if this were a Sak’s 5th Avenue or Tiffany’s. My only real concern might be – even more out-of-town traffic swarming up Moraga Rd though Lafayette) to reach the D/T from Rt 24.

    Finally, if the Moraga Planning Commission hangs tough on its constraints, maybe D/T will consider the empty Dodge dealership buildings on Mt. Diablo in Lafayette (of course, we’d probably find a similar breed of “complainers here).

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