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MAC Board Denies Goodwill Application

Castro Valley Municipal Advisory Council members voted 5 to 1 Monday evening, denying Goodwill Industries Inc. to open a retail and drop off center at the Adobe Plaza Shopping Center.

An application to bring a Goodwill to the was rejected Monday by the .

MAC members cited location and possible blight to the area from donation drop offs as main reasons they rejected the proposal with a 5-to-1 vote. Member John Ryzanych was the lone vote in favor of bringing a Goodwill to town.

During Monday's meeting, more than a dozen speakers spoke in support and opposition of the second-hand store moving into the space that would take up more than 7,000 sq. ft. off Castro Valley Boulevard.

Those in opposition stressed that they wanted to see a more "appealing establishment" at the site, which they considered to be a gateway into the community. One woman said there were plenty of donation centers and Goodwill-like stores not far from Castro Valley where folks could donate. Many added that donation pickup trucks often come by peoples' homes so they don't even need to leave their driveways to make donations.

Supporters of the store said it will make an impact in the environment to have people shop second-hand. Others supported the company's vocational services and job-training programs earned through purchases from the store. A woman who admitted being "one of Castro Valley's poor people that wants Goodwill here" said it would greatly benefit her and so many others in similar financial situations.

A representative of Goodwill Industries stressed that the store would provide seven full-time jobs and five job-training positions that would rotate different employees into the store. She said the company considered the community's pushback when it first , which is

"The issue is the land use," said councilmember Cheryl Miraglia. "Not a case of hatred against Goodwill."

Council members discussed the overall condition of the blighted property and the lack of public need for a Goodwill store in that particular area due to the many that already surround Castro Valley.

Councilmember Marc Crawford said he doesn't want Goodwill particularly on the Boulevard and would prefer a retailer that sells new products in that location instead.

"It's a decline for our community," he said. "Alternate locations just haven't been explored."

The decision goes to the Planning Commission and then to the Alameda County Board of Supervisors, who may vote in favor or against the MAC's decision.

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Steve Ontiveros August 14, 2012 at 09:24 PM
What specific land use ordinance was used to justify the denial recommendation?
Analisa Harangozo (Editor) August 14, 2012 at 10:03 PM
It wasn't necessarily a land use ordinance.. It was more so they felt the site wasn't the best space for a Goodwill.
Karen Alexander August 14, 2012 at 10:21 PM
Gee, so let's just leave it empty because that looks so much better... The closest Goodwill store is in Dublin, and I don't see a problem at all with "blight" there. I have a newly opened shop in west Castro Valley (on San Carlos Avenue), just a couple of blocks from that shopping center. I sell vintage and repurposed furniture and home decor (thus not NEW items). I guess that also makes me undesirable?
Bridget G August 14, 2012 at 10:42 PM
There is a Kelly Moore paint going in so it won't be empty, and there is a Goodwill store on A street in Hayward too I think. That being said, I wouldn't mind a Goodwill store in town, it's really the location that is a problem. The drop off site can become a place for people who just take advantage of it as a place to dump junk which could then adversely impact the other businesses in that plaza as well as the Boulevard businesses across the way. If there was a location that had a back lot, it might make more sense, like the old PW spot. Then it would not be seen from the street but could still be monitored by surveillance cameras if necessary.
Rachel Bradley-Gomez August 14, 2012 at 10:47 PM
Well, I'll just come right out and say it, the Castro Valley Municipal Advisory Council has delivered one disservice after another to the community of Castro Valley. Pulling the rug out from under Goodwill is neither here nor there in the massive comedy of errors, misjudgment, and good ole' fashioned nepotism (see Safeway's third store in less than a five mile radius as reference) that summarizes the MAC Board's broad reaching influence in this town. The actual wants and needs of the "people" were not considered in this decision any more than they have ever been considered, historically. This is not to say that I am in favor of Goodwill, or that we need it. The logic used to deny its application simply draws a massive question mark when examined in greater context.
Rachel Bradley-Gomez August 14, 2012 at 10:51 PM
I propose that Analisa should add another category to vote on: "Do you think the MAC Board really represent the best interest of Castro Valley?" Yes: No:
Jim M August 15, 2012 at 04:36 AM
It's interesting how thrift shops cause this type of thing. When I lived in Oakland there was a move to bring in an Out of the Closet Thrift Shop, and some people thought it might be a bad fit in trendy Lake Shore area. On the other hand there were many small second hand shops and some are run by non-profits. Some are quite expensive, to the point where you are paying boutique prices. I guess Goodwill and such conjures up that ghetto feeling! Of course we all want to shop local at non-chain stores. But no matter what most merchandise is foreign made and mass produced, go figure. Let's look at the location. There is a Filipino restaurant. I hear it's not bad. An O'Rielly's auto parts store, and a pizza place. There was a Dollar Store. Was it really better or worse than Goodwill? Would any of these business be damaged by Goodwill? Also half of the old Blockbuster will be a 7-11 I hear. We all need another soda and chips outlet. Oh thank Heaven let's not forget the 40 ouncer on are way to get paint next door! Moral of the story is the merchants need an association to figure out what they want the boulevard shopping to to look like. The MAC needs to explain what they are looking for and who is pushing them in that direction. Finally the public needs to decide what they want. Everybody complains about something, but there is no firm agreement or plan from what I can see.
Rachel Bradley-Gomez August 15, 2012 at 04:55 AM
I find that questions like these just beg even more questions, such as, how do MAC Board members become MAC Board members? Are they appointed or elected? Are there kick backs and under the table deals going on behind the public's back? Clearly, nepotism, cronyism and good ole' fashioned power brokering are not unique to appointed officials, but without some accountability, I'm of a mind to assume the worst. Not being beholden to a constituency is basically a green light for for wanton misuse of power. I think it's time for the people of Castro Valley to wake up and smell the next paint store...
anthony August 15, 2012 at 05:31 AM
if you want to contact the source this can get you started... not sure if it's quite up to date though, the list still shows appointees past their expiration dates. As to the rest of your concerns, it is only an advisory board, hard to tell where they sit on the totem pole. http://www.acgov.org/bc/cvmac/index.htm
Dalamar August 15, 2012 at 12:46 PM
Looks to me like this is a case of "we want to help the poor, just as long as they aren't seen". More appealing establishments? In that case, closed, vacant buildings must be more appealing than a good will store. Ever notice what a vacant store looks like over time? Weeds growing THROUGH the asphalt, junk in the parking lot, graffiti etc, etc Lots of other locations near castro valley? Typically those who shop at these places dont have cars. Either its public trans or walking. How "close" is A street now?
Cisco Diaz August 15, 2012 at 03:37 PM
I for one am in favor of the opening of a second hand store in Castro Valley. I am not sure Goodwill is my first choice but of all the thrifts stores that currently exist Goodwill has the best reputation for cleanliness, good inventory, high prices and pleasant employees. I don't think it would pose a negative impact on the area that doesn't already exist. MAC should take a chance, I would suggest they issue a temporary permit for a year and take a wait and see approach. If they fail to live up to any concerns don't renew the land use permit it's that easy. By the way take a look around MAC other affluent cities have thrifts stores, Pleasanton, Danville. Walnut Creek.
Angelica Beyelia August 15, 2012 at 05:46 PM
This whole subject has become so depressing. They tell us to "be patient" during construction as they are working to "better" Castro Valley...while we are being patient, boutique shop-owners, supposedly exactly the "type" that MAC is looking for, are being forced to close their doors because nobody wants to deal with the mess when going out to shop. They were just making it as it is, what with trying to compete against Target and Walmart and Home Depot, etc. I know, I know, this is not news...but what is amazing to me is that MAC continues to profess their wish to achieve something that is exactly the opposite of what they are funneling us towards. They seem to want something like downtown Livermore or Main Street in Pleasanton...umm I'm sorry, but last time I checked, neither of these locations are primarily littered with empty buildings, paint stores and Quik Stops, and I may be wrong but I believe there are secondhand shops in, or extremely close to, both locations. I'm not saying I was thrilled with a Goodwill store either, to be honest, but that's only because that's a good-sized building and there are so many needs that could be filled, Goodwill is only one option. If I had known the only option they would consider is ANOTHER FREAKIN' PAINT STORE...I would have cut the Goodwill ribbon myself. I will definitely be purchasing my paint (once every 3 years when I need it, if I'm feeling ambitious) at Pete's, not just because they're awesome, but also out of spite. Ugh.
Gary Allsebrook August 15, 2012 at 05:49 PM
Why hasn't anyone thought of the old Daughtrys building? It seems like that would be a perfect fit. Or maybe it's time to tear the white elephant down. Which is more blight - having an annual halloween store there (and nothing the rest of the year)? Just one more compelling argument for cityhood and dumping county control.
Angelica Beyelia August 15, 2012 at 05:52 PM
That's a great idea actually, I always forget that it's there, probably because I'm so used to it being empty. It really is a huge waste of space. I miss when it was Billiards long ago, that was fun :(
Kathy Mathisen August 15, 2012 at 08:17 PM
The location which used to house Lil' Grocer on Lake Chabot road would be a good place for Goodwill; plenty of room there for drop-offs.
Gary Allsebrook August 15, 2012 at 09:14 PM
Goodwill, like everything else is all about location. Lake Chabot Road is a bit isolated. The local residents there could probably use a convenience market.
qwicwted August 16, 2012 at 12:31 AM
Hummmm, lets see there is a Goodwill right on East 14th - or you can go to the Salvation Army which is on A street - you'll be able to see it from the many items that are dumped off at both places.
qwicwted August 16, 2012 at 12:33 AM
There are numerous kiosks around town and I know I always get Pick Up information from many charities that let me know what day they will come around to do pickups in my neighborhood - all I have to do is leave the item on the sidewalk and tape their card on it. They will do the rest.
qwicwted August 16, 2012 at 12:35 AM
Thought there were two stores in the running for the 580 spot - Lunardi's and Safeway - I'm sure Safeway offered more $. While I would have really liked a Lunardi's - at least they did get another grocery store up there.
qwicwted August 16, 2012 at 12:42 AM
I think the Lil' Grocer is supposed to reopen as a new market - similar to Als. What would be nice is if they would open the Lil Grocer store featuring fresh produce and fruit along with deli and gourmet style food - something along the lines of a Traders.
Yolanda August 16, 2012 at 01:48 AM
The MAC does not get to decide which retailers can use a retail space. The fact is the MAC turned down a request by Goodwill to change the rules for the strip mall to allow for a donation drop off area. A donation center required eliminating a number of parking spaces because there is no rear truck access. Also, the property owner has been very delinquent in responding to code enforcement about graffiti, trash, and landscape maintenance. If there were problems with litter from illegal dumping in front of the store the property owner's poor record implied that it would not be dealt with promptly.
Yolanda August 16, 2012 at 02:01 AM
Anthony is right - it is an advisory board which means their recommendations can be ignored by everyone - Board of Zoning, Planning Commission, Board of Supervisors. They make no binding decisions.
Rachel Bradley-Gomez August 16, 2012 at 02:19 PM
So what I'm hearing here, if I'm correct, is that the MAC is a lot like a group of powerful appointed lobbyists who work for an unknown entity's interest. And while they do not actually make or enforce decisions, they just "weigh in", and their symbolic vote simply becomes reality?
anthony August 16, 2012 at 03:21 PM
frequently asked questions about MAC... http://www.acgov.org/bc/cvmac/documents/faqs.pdf I've has good results contacting Nate Miley... http://www.acgov.org/board/district4/contactus.htm

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