DVC Plaza: Cash-Strapped Pleasant Hill Sells Out to Developers (Yet Again)

On Tuesday, August 11, 2015 the Pleasant Hill Planning Commission will discuss major zoning exceptions sought for a proposed Car Max development at DVC Plaza (the former K-Mart site).  The Commission’s meeting follows previous study sessions held by the Planning and Architectural Review Commissions.

Amazingly, Pleasant Hill staff recommends Commission approval of the developer’s signage requests that far exceed permissible size and height limits established by zoning laws.  The project developer, Merlone Geier Partners, seeks major exceptions to the City’s zoning rules so the Car Max development can be seen easily from the freeway.

The proposed signs are more than 8 times the height and 10 times the size permitted under City zoning laws.

Car Max, a Fortune 500 used car chain with more than 100 locations nationwide, is expected to generate much-needed tax revenues for the City.

The fact that staff recommends granting the developer’s wishes -- which will make suburban Pleasant Hill look like L.A.’s ugly skyline littered with tall, in-your-face signs -- shows the City’s desperation for cash needed to pay skyrocketing pension liabilities.

City zoning limits commercial signs to 8 ft. in height, but the developer proposes a 67 ft. tall sign.  Further, zoning rules limit commercial signs to 32 sq. ft., but the developer proposes a 326 sq. ft. double-sided sign.

Tuesday’s meeting will begin at 7:30pm and is designated as a study session, so no final decisions will be made.  Public comment will be accepted.  Let City Hall know your views.