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Neighbors see gas station as rotten deal
rotten robbies
A rendering of the Rotten Robbie’s exterior.

There are at least six homeowners that aren’t thrilled by Rotten Robbie’s plans to build a gas station on the southeast corner of Wawona Street and Airport Way.

They have made their displeasure known in advance of tonight’s 7 p.m. Manteca Planning Commission meeting that is closed to the public due to the pandemic but is being broadcast live on Comcast Channel 97 and livestreamed on the city’s website.

The commission will decide if all appropriate precautions have been taken in the design of the project and whether it should be approved.

Residents along Depot Drive in the Cowell Station neighborhood south and southwest of Sierra High were aware that the homes they bought backed up to commercial zoned property. They never anticipated, however, that would mean a 24-7 gas station with 16 pumps, two diesel pumps for trucks and a 4,800-square-foot convenience store.

The latest input from residents earlier this month preceding the meeting and the planning staff’s responses are as follows:

*“The construction and operational noise will make working from home challenging as it will be difficult to hear phone calls and attend virtual meetings.”

RESPONSE: Mitigation measures are being required during construction while daytime noise levels for truck deliveries will not exceed city general plan or municipal code daytime noise thresholds.

*“Lighting from the 24/7 operations will prevent me from getting a sufficient level of sleep.”

RESPONSE: Mitigation measures require the proposed project lighting plan consists of only the minimum amount of lighting necessary for operations, safety, and security.

*“My specific property is the only one of the residences (to the east) that has been identified as a location of maximum residential cancer risk and chronic health index and without any mitigation measures identified. I don’t want my family exposed to those health hazards.”

RESPONSE: The San Joaquin Valley Air Quality Control District reviewed mitigation measures regarding gas vapors and found that impacts would be less than significant if measures to reduce emissions of diesel particulate matter during construction were employed.

*“A study of the relationship between violence and other factors found an increasing trend as the number of alcohol sold in gas stations near schools and residential properties (increases).”

RESPONSE: Crime is not an environmental topic required by the California Environmental Quality Act to be analyzed in the initial study/mitigated negative declaration.

*“A convenience store or a gas station can lower the value of nearby homes. One of the most plausible effects is on mortgages. Federal Housing Administration (FHA) insured loads 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.”

RESPONSE: The commenter is suggesting the propose project will negatively affect nearby property values. That is not an environmental topic required by the California Environmental Quality Act to be analyzed in the initial study/mitigated negative declaration.

Concerns residents raised as a Dec. 11, 2019 community workshop prompted the city to require studies be conducted regarding traffic impacts, air quality deterioration, and noise impacts to the nearby homes.

One of the 100 plus conditions of approval require Robinson Oil CO. — the owners of the Rotten Robbie’s chain — to accommodate apparatus for traffic signals on the corner of their property if and when the city opts to signalize Airport Way and Wawona Street


To contact Dennis Wyatt, email