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Published November 21st, 2012
Safeway Expands Parking onto Valero Corner
By Cathy Tyson
View of existing Valero gas station on the corner of Mt. Diablo and Oak Hill Road with Safeway in the background Photo Cathy Tyson

Although the Lafayette Safeway currently meets the strict parking requirements necessary for an establishment of its size, corporate management has been negotiating with the owners of the Valero gas station at the corner of Oak Hill Road and Mt. Diablo Boulevard to lease the property, demolish the structure, and turn it into more parking spots. The proposal is currently working its way through Lafayette's review process.
City rules require 152 parking stalls given the square footage of the grocery store; Safeway currently has 156 stalls. By expanding onto the Valero property owned by Gus Shahidi and the Bocci family, 40 stalls could be added - 36 standard sized and four designated handicapped spaces. New rows of double-sided parking stalls would mimic the existing rows that run parallel to Oak Hill Road.
"We will lease the Valero property from the existing owner/operator to convert the gas station to additional Safeway parking," said Todd Paradis of Safeway's Northern California Division Real Estate Department. "We anticipate obtaining city approval by the end of the year and constructing sometime next year."
Part of the expansion includes extending the landscape treatment along the perimeter and clarifying circulation concerns for delivery truck access and unloading. In addition, the Circulation Commission asked the retailer to make pedestrian-friendly sidewalk improvements and enhance the existing bicycle racks in front of the store.
There are a number of environmental regulations that will have to be satisfied. Paradis is well aware of the process and assures, "The improvements and tanks will be removed during the conversion and backfilled with clean soil and given a clean bill of health from the Regional Water Quality Control Board."
Cleaning Up After the Tanks
Guidelines for a permit to close an underground storage tank (UST) are specific and lengthy, from written notification to the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, to soil and groundwater samples to be analyzed by a state certified laboratory and much more.
Contra Costa Health Services Hazardous Materials Program is the designated local agency that protects the public from exposure to hazardous materials and potential groundwater contamination from substances stored in USTs. This agency is responsible for annual inspections and issues operating permits for installation and removal or repair.


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