The west side of Novato does not have a 24-hour convenience store, which means residents out there have to head downtown to the or the on Diablo Avenue to satisfy late-night snack attacks.
But there is proposal to demolish the at the Square shopping center on Novato Boulevard and rebuild it with a larger 24-hour convenience store. Tentative plans will be reviewed publicly Monday night.
Residents near the Square, a maligned and half-empty center that serves Novato’s western neighborhoods, received notices in the mail of a meeting at 7 p.m. Monday at the , 1915 Novato Blvd.
The city has received applications from AU Energy of Fremont to demolish the existing gas station and convenience shop and start from scratch on a 2,900-square-foot market with 400 square feet of office space on a second floor accessible from an external staircase. The existing building at the site is 2,112 square feet.
Comments and input will be heard but no decision will be made for either the requested design review or use permit.
Although the West Novato Shell station at 1390 Novato Boulevard is associated with the Square shopping center, it is a separate property with a different owner, said city planning manager Elizabeth Dunn. City staff hopes Monday's session will not turn into a debate about the future of the Square.
The location is about 1 1/2 miles west of the nearest 24-hour convenience store.
The proposal would need to go before the Design Review Commission to move forward, Dunn said, and a request to sell alcoholic beverages at the site requires a use permit, which can be approved by the city's zoning administrator. However, Dunn said city staff might suggest that the proposal be heard by the Novato Planning Commission.
It would be January at the earliest when the plans would be placed before the Design Review Commission, and it might have to go back before that panel if the initial introduction comes in the form of a workshop. If things move along smoothly, the zoning administrator could rule on the alcohol use permit by February or later, Dunn said.
The Square is anchored by a and a handful of small businesses. A grocery store operated there for decades but has been vacant for several years. The 6.4-acre property was on a list of potential housing developments that would help the city of Novato meet state housing mandates, but the Novato City Council bypassed the site for the most current (2007-2014) general plan update.