There was no support from the 18 public speakers before the Planning Commission last night as it reviewed the application for an alcohol sales permit for the on Novato Boulevard, according to an article in the Marin Independent Journal.
Pam Drew president of the Novato Community Alliance said they began mobilizing a grassroots effort to block the sale of alcohol beginning in November. She said it started a letter writing campaign and flyers that were distributed to neighbors within a 1000 feet of the Shell station.
Members of the Novato Blue Ribbon Coalition for Youth also spoke out against the proposed use permit for sales of beer and wine, according to the article.
It was recommended by Novato city staff that the off-site beer and wine sales at 2085 Novato Boulevard be rejected because of a moratorium in place for issuances of off-site licences in Marin, unless a determination of "public convenience or necessity" is made by the city.
Novato Blue Ribbon Coalition for Youth pointed to four locations to buy alcohol in the Novato Square which is adjacent to the gas station.
Approval of the permit would have set in motion a Design Review request by the property owner to demolish the current location of the pumps and convenience store to create a two-story structure for office use, larger convenience store and the off-site beer and wine sales.
The staff report noted that the property owner has indicated publicly that if the use permit was not granted that he would not proceed with the Design Review request.
The Novato Blue Ribbon Coalition for Youth applauded the decision in a statement on its website and said they will bring their concerns before the Novato City Council if the ruling is appealed by the applicant.
Drew also was pleased with the Planning Commission's decision.
"I think the unanimous decision was really remarkable and wonderful. There is a direct correlation between the concentration of sources for alcohol in an area and the rise in problems with alcohol in general and binge-drinking among youth in particular," she said in an email.
"The concern that almost every speaker expressed for the youth of our community genuinely boosted my faith and confidence in our town as a good place to be."