Friday, November 30, 2012

Update on 7-11 Development at 501 N. San Mateo Drive

On September 17, 2012, after receiving numerous complaints from San Mateo residents about the opening of a 7-11 store at 501 N. San Mateo Drive, I called for public hearings on the continuation of a non-conforming use of the property at 501 N. San Mateo Drive.

Hearings on the issue of whether the property owners at 501 N. San Mateo Drive have a right to continue to use their property for a non-conforming use were held on November 15, 2012. Further hearings have been continued into next January 2013. In the interest of providing a fair and unbiased hearing for the property owners and the neighbors, I will continue to keep an open-mind on the issue, and not render an opinion or judgment on the issue until the public hearing is held.

However, in early November, as I learned more about the issue and timeline related to the granting of permits for the 7-11 by City staff, I made a request to the City Attorney’s Office to begin gathering all public records related to this issue, including “Any correspondence (email, letters, phone logs)” between City staff and City Councilmembers related to the development of 501 N. San Mateo Drive.

Earlier today, as a result of my earlier request, the City Attorney’s Office released phone logs from the City Planning Division which raise legitimate questions about communication between City staff and members of the City Council that might be seen as having influenced the granting of a building permit for the 7-11 at 501 N. San Mateo Drive.

While there is most likely a reasonable explanation for what the phone logs appear to show, even the appearance of impropriety is unacceptable in serving the residents of San Mateo openly and honestly. For that reason, City staff will continue to investigate the matter. The results of those investigations will be released and scrutinized in public hearings by the City Council. I will also personally support the role of outside agencies, including the media, to fully investigate and get to the truth of this matter.

Moving forward, I will continue to work as I have since I first learned of this issue – asking questions and making inquiries for all relevant information on behalf of the citizens of San Mateo.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad. Apologies for typos!

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