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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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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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