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  1. TopTop #1
    Shepherd's Avatar
    Shepherd
    Supporting Member

    CVS sues Sebastopol

    It's time to get behind our small town and support it as it wages a legal struggle against three giant corporations: the U.S.'s largest bank, Chase, its 18th largest corporation, CVS Pharmacy, and their developer, Armstrong. This is a classic David vs. Goliath struggle. Let's not be intimidated but express the power that people can have.
    Shepherd


    CVS files lawsuit against City of Sebastopol
    http://www.sonomawest.com/sonoma_wes...a4bcf887a.html

    Posted: Thursday, December 27, 2012 5:51 pm | Updated: 12:29 pm, Fri Dec 28, 2012.
    David Abbott

    The City of Sebastopol received a lump of coal for Christmas, as CVS filed a lawsuit in response to a drive-through moratorium enacted by City Council on Dec. 18.

    The suit was filed on behalf of Long’s Drug Stores California and Armstrong Development Properties, Inc., the developer hired by CVS to shepherd the process to completion, and requests that the court declares the ordinance unlawful, prohibits the City from enforcing the ordinance and directs the City and City Council to vacate the ordinance, according to the 13-page filing.


    HEART OF CONTROVERSY
    The site of the former Pellini Chevrolet,
    which has been vacant since 2009, is at the
    heart of a lawsuit against the City of Sebastopol.
    CVS now owns the property and is suing the
    City over a drive-through moratorium enacted
    at the Dec. 18 City Council meeting.

    In a letter submitted to Council prior to the Dec. 18 meeting, attorney Amanda J. Monchamp of Holland & Knight, LLP of San Francisco, stated that it was their belief that the ordinance was directed at the CVS project, calling it an “arbitrary, capricious and discriminatory act by the City.”

    “There is no basis in law for the City to adopt an urgency ordinance on drive-through uses,” the letter states. “If the City Council adopts (the ordinance) … Armstrong will pursue all legal remedies, including litigation against the City.”

    That threat came to fruition on Christmas Eve, when a skeleton crew was manning City Hall.

    Acting City Manager and City Attorney Larry McLaughlin was on hand to receive the summons.

    “The City disputes any contention that the moratorium is just about CVS,” he said. “The City has every right to reevaluate its laws … and a right to enact a moratorium while it studies those laws.”

    McLaughlin added that a moratorium is not a ban, but that Council could come back in 45 days and extend the ordinance for another 10 months and 15 days in order to have more time to consider the subject.

    CVS finalized the purchase of the property in November, but, according to McLaughlin, the project has yet to receive design approval and Armstrong does not have either a demolition permit or a building permit, although Bill McDermott, who represents Armstrong, went to the building department on Dec. 18 and paid $300 for a “Plan Check Deposit.” The employee that took the deposit is on vacation and it is not certain what the deposit was for, although McLaughlin speculates it may have been for “Demolition and/or Pavement/Curbing permits.”

    “CVS has no vested right to build the project,” he said, adding, “You receive a vested right to build when the building is demolished and then you have a building permit.”

    The project, located at the intersection of highways 12 and 116, has been at the heart of Sebastopol politics since it was proposed in 2009. Over the course of 16 months — from April 2011 to August 2012 — there were more than 20 public hearings surrounding the project, which was approved by a conditional 3-2 City Council vote in August.

    The Council election exposed a rift in the community and two councilmembers who voted in favor of the project, Kathleen Shaffer and former Mayor Guy Wilson, were replaced by candidates who ran in opposition to the project, Councilmember John Eder and Vice Mayor Robert Jacob.

    Shaffer lost by 62 votes and Wilson chose not to seek reelection.

    Patrick Slayter is the only councilmember that voted in favor of the project, but it was he who proposed the moratorium on Nov. 20 and who joined the other four members of council for the unanimous vote in favor of the ordinance.

    “The urgency order came about because if we didn’t have it, we could potentially have a dozen project applications come in with drive-throughs,” Mayor Michael Kyes said. “I don’t know why they haven’t been outlawed all along.”

    The City has 30 days to answer the lawsuit, which could potentially cost many thousands of dollars.

    “We are developing a litigation budget for the handling of this lawsuit with a range of costs (depending on how the legal issues play out), and a timeline. I plan on finalizing that in the next week or so,” McLaughlin said. “Right now, I'd say total expenses over at least a year would be in the $100,000 range.”

    McDermott did not answer e-mails requesting comment and Monchamp did not return phone calls.

    © 2012 Sonoma West Publishers .

    Last edited by Barry; 12-28-2012 at 02:15 PM.
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  2. TopTop #2

    Re: CVS sues Sebastopol

    What actions do we, the people, need to take now in order to defend Sebastopol and ourselves from this corporate onslaught?

    Thank you,

    Edward
    Quote Shepherd wrote: View Post
    It's time to get behind our small town and support it as it wages a legal struggle against three giant corporations: the U.S.'s largest bank, Chase, its 18th largest corporation, CVS Pharmacy, and their developer, Armstrong. This is a classic David vs. Goliath struggle. Let's not be intimidated but express the power that people can have.
    Shepherd
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  4. TopTop #3
    dzerach's Avatar
    dzerach
     

    Re: CVS sues Sebastopol

    As a layperson who is not that naive, I don't understand on what possible basis "unlawful." I mean, this is the best they could come up with? "...an arbitrary, capricious and discriminatory act by the City.” "Uh, no, I'm guessing the town doesn't want any meth supplier conducting drive through sales at its major crossroads, it's not just you, son." Just because they are a proven public menace doesn't mean there aren't others. Are drive-through liquor sales legal in California? Wouldn't drive up meth ingredient sales be much more challenging for any business to monitor than indoor sales? Public safety.

    Why they insist on a drive through is the real question. May CVS receive a metaphorical iron pipe in the knee.

    [note: peppering of expletives were omitted throughout.]
    Last edited by Barry; 01-03-2013 at 04:16 PM.
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  6. TopTop #4
    Shepherd's Avatar
    Shepherd
    Supporting Member

    Re: CVS sues Sebastopol

    Quote Edward Mendoza wrote: View Post
    What actions do we, the people, need to take now in order to defend Sebastopol and ourselves from this corporate onslaught?
    In response to Edward's question above, I have been hired by a major national publication to write about the giant CVS suing the small town of Sebastopol. I would welcome any comments from citizens about how they feel about CVS/Chase suing our town. And what are you prepared to do to defend us? Let's not be naive; this could go either way, given the power that such corporations have. They are masters at filing lawsuits, which they often win.

    I also welcome any questions that you think I should pose to people, such as Sebastopol's City Attorney. I would request that you send emails to me directly at 3sb@comcast.net. I am especially interested in critical thinking that is evidence based and could be communicated to a mass audience. I also welcome any research that you might do that could help in writing such as article. For example, Tim Nonn of Occupy Petaluma sent me the following research on the attorney who will be representing CVS, who is, as he describes her, a "heavy hitter."
    Thanks for any help,
    Shepherd


    http://www.hklaw.com/Amanda-Monchamp/
    Amanda Monchamp is a Partner in the Government Section's West Coast Land Use and Environment Group. She practices in the areas of land use, natural resources, and environmental law with an emphasis on project development, regulatory compliance and litigation regarding the California Environmental Quality Act throughout California.

    Ms. Monchamp advises clients on various aspects of complex residential, commercial and industrial land use and development projects, as well as linear projects for utilities such as telecommunications, power companies, transportation and transit projects. Her work on these projects includes due diligence review, local entitlement processing, site remediation, environmental review under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), state and federal resource agency permitting, associated land use transactions, and defending challenges to project approvals under CEQA and other land use laws. Ms. Monchamp is currently defending several major projects from challenges under CEQA and NEPA in state and federal court.

    Additionally, Ms. Monchamp provides environmental regulatory compliance counseling to a wide range of clients on several state and federal environmental laws and regulations, including the Clean Water Act, the Endangered Species Act, and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, and associated state programs.

    Prior to joining the firm, Ms. Monchamp worked at the Electronic Industries Alliance (EIA) in Washington, D.C., where she represented the electronics industry in state, federal and international environmental regulatory, legislative, and policy arenas and advised the industry on regulatory compliance issues related to product recycling initiatives and restricted substance bans. She continues to represent clients on these issues, specifically related to California state issues.

    Memberships

    • ABA Section on Energy, Environment and Resources
    • Urban Land Institute - Full Member
    • Environmental Law Institute
    • California Bar Association, Environment and Natural Resources Section
    • San Francisco Bar Association, Environmental Law Section
    • Environmental Law Conference at Yosemite
    • Association of Environmental Professionals, Board Member
    Last edited by Barry; 12-29-2012 at 01:21 PM.
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  8. TopTop #5
    tommy's Avatar
    tommy
    Supporting member

    Re: CVS sues Sebastopol

    I suggest the drive thru window ban, applying to this property, be considered in light of the larger issue of traffic, the already congested intersection, and the question of left turns from Hwy 116 going west. I looked on the web, and there is some documentation of drive thru windows increasing traffic, as consumers would rather sit in the car than park, and walk into the store to do their business... even though there are reports that it's quicker to park and go in, than sit in your car. The drive thru window will intensive traffic congestion. As I recall, in Sebastopol's neighborhood plan, this parcel is in a pedestrian oriented section of town, and it specifies that banks and drug stores are to be in shopping centers away from the central district, such as where CVS is now in the Redwood Shopping center. I'd think there is a legal precedent for the right of a town for land use planning, such as keeping certain business out of the downtown, such as fast food restaurants, porn shops, etc.
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  10. TopTop #6
    rossmen
     

    Re: CVS sues Sebastopol

    the armstrong attorney creds are impressive, and also not fully applicable. i guess armstrong/cvs is throwing money at the problem, not a sign of strength. i think a full show of community support would be effective at this point. what was the cvs number for taking public comment?

    also the fact? that it is longs/ armstrong which filed suit is interesting. longs drugs sold out to cvs, yet they are still in play? and armstrong closed the deal with the pellinni's, perhaps the forces aligned to force drug drivethru's into the heart of sebastopol have less resources than we imagine...
    Last edited by Barry; 12-31-2012 at 12:44 PM.
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  12. TopTop #7
    Eileen M.'s Avatar
    Eileen M.
     

    Re: CVS sues Sebastopol

    Quote rossmen wrote: View Post
    i think a full show of community support would be effective at this point. what was the cvs number for taking public comment?
    Priscilla LaFerte is administrative assistant to CVS President CEO Larry Merlo. She was as close to the top as I could get.
    Her email is palaferte@cvs.com
    Her direct line is 401 765-4915

    Hope this works out for you. I'd be interested to hear how she responds to you.
    Last edited by Barry; 12-31-2012 at 12:45 PM.
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  14. TopTop #8
    occupied95472's Avatar
    occupied95472
     

    Re: CVS sues Sebastopol



    Occupy Sebastopol is planning a peaceful Informational Pickett on Saturday January 19th from 2 till 4 pm at CVS/CHASE in the Redwood Marketplace.
    All community support is welcome!
    More info to follow.
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  16. TopTop #9
    Shepherd's Avatar
    Shepherd
    Supporting Member

    Re: CVS sues Sebastopol

    Yea! Count me in. I plan to be there and hope that many others will join us then.
    Shepherd

    Quote occupied95472 wrote: View Post

    Occupy Sebastopol is planning a peaceful Informational Pickett on Saturday January 19th from 2 till 4 pm at CVS/CHASE in the Redwood Marketplace.
    All community support is welcome!
    More info to follow.
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  18. TopTop #10

    Re: CVS sues Sebastopol

    I too plan to be there and will bring my CVS card, unused since the boycott began. It's already cut up but not yet presented to the store. This would be a good time for that and perhaps a petition could be circulated before the 19th for presentation to the store manager. Most of the employees are from the Long days and are just folks earning a living though I do know of one woman who quit rather than put up with the new management - wish I knew where she is now.

    Quote Shepherd wrote: View Post
    Yea! Count me in. I plan to be there and hope that many others will join us then.
    Shepherd
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  20. TopTop #11
    occupied95472's Avatar
    occupied95472
     

    Re: CVS sues Sebastopol

    You can sign the on-line petition here and leave a comment if you like
    https://www.change.org/petitions/cvs...-of-sebastopol
    Thank you
    Occupy Sebastopol

    "IT TAKES A VILLAGE..... to stop CVS/CHASE"
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  22. TopTop #12
    Shepherd's Avatar
    Shepherd
    Supporting Member

    Article: Sebastopol Sued by Giant CVS Pharmacy—David vs. Goliath Story Continues

    Sebastopol Sued by Giant CVS Pharmacy—David vs. Goliath Story Continues

    By Shepherd Bliss
    WaccoBB.net


    On Christmas Eve, when most were at home with family and friends or out-of-town, a summons was served at the Sebastopol City Hall. The giant CVS Pharmacy sued the City and its elected officials.

    Sebastopol’s recently elected City Council voted unanimously, 5-0, on Dec. 18 to enact a temporary, 45-day moratorium against drive-through operations. CVS seeks to nullify that moratorium and proceed with plans that it has been working on since 2009, but which have not been fully approved and permitted, to build two stores with drive-throughs.

    CVS claimed in a letter to the Council before the Dec. 18 decision that the ordinance is an “arbitrary, capricious and discriminatory act by the City.” CVS feels targeted by the Council’s new moratorium, though it refers to all new drive-throughs.

    CVS’s lawsuit complains that it “has been damaged” because they have an “investment of millions of dollars.” It’s all about money for CVS/Chase, whereas for the people of Sebastopol and their elected officials the issue is having local control and deciding what would be best for residents.

    “The City has every right to reevaluate its laws…and a right to enact a moratorium while it studies those laws,” according to City Attorney Larry McLaughlin, also Acting City Manager. He explained that a moratorium is not a ban, adding, “It is to maintain the status quo while the Planning Commission and City Council study the subject. Studying a subject does not necessarily lead to a ban.”

    A defiant McLaughlin later noted, “We’re not backing down.” He admitted that a defense of the City is likely to cost up to $100,000, which is a lot of money for a small town.




    Councilmember Patrick Slayter, an architect, put the topic of drive-throughs on the agenda of the previous Council on Nov. 20. He is the only remaining member on the new Council who voted to approve the architectural design of the CVS/Chase/Armstrong project in the town’s urban core. Sarah Gurney, an attorney, had originally suggested a drive-through moratorium.

    “Drive-throughs are outmoded and with our limited urban space, I am not sure devoting traffic lanes to drive-throughs is the best use of our limited space.” In an email, he later wrote “Good urban design is an effective way to move away from the automobile.”

    Mayor Michael Kyes explained that “the urgency order came about because if we didn’t have it, we could potentially have a dozen project applications come in with drive-throughs.”

    Why might the 18th largest corporation in the U.S. become so involved in the governance of a small town. Such interference by mega-corporations in the running of municipalities is not unusual. Some corporations--such as Wal-Mart and Monsanto--are even more powerful than some smaller nations, which they also threaten in order to maximize profits, their only concern.

    "These corporations use their money, influence over government and ‘constitutional rights’ to impose their will on communities all over the world,” writes Abraham Entin, founder of Move to Amend Sonoma County. This grassroots, national movement seeks a constitutional amendment that states "Corporations are not people, and money is not speech.” Otherwise, corporations will find ways to get around local regulations and use their substantial power to control events, says Entin.

    Slightly before CVS/Chase proposed their development, another project was proposed a couple of blocks away on a property ten times as large. The Barlow Project developers were constructive, creative, and cooperative with the City and the community. Their project was approved and is nearly complete. CVS has been combative and threatening; it tried to ignore and dominate the City and its people, whereas The Barlow welcomed their feedback and made real modifications in their plans to meet the felt needs of the town’s people.

    A number of groups and hundreds of individuals contributed recently to successful campaigns to elect two candidates who oppose the CVS/Chase move, Robert Jacob and John Eder, and defeat the two candidates who supported the move, incumbent Kathleen Schaeffer and former mayor Kathy Austin. Those groups included Sebastopol Tomorrow, Small Town Sebastopol Committee, Sonoma County Conservation Action, and Occupy Sebastopol.

    “It is key that municipalities be free to design their towns,” said long-time activist and former Planning Commissioner Helen Shane, “and not be shoved around by formula organizations eager for a foothold in towns, large and small, across the U.S.” Other communities throughout the U.S. are apparently struggling against CVS/Chase expansionism.

    Five days after the Christmas Eve summons, people from around Sonoma County gathered at the weekly Farmers Market in the town’s plaza, a couple of blocks from where CVS wants to re-locate. When asked how they felt about CVS suing Sebastopol, responses included following:

    “It disgusts me that CVS would go against the will of the community. It is a shame when corporations try to force themselves on towns. It will cost all the people of Sebastopol a lot of time, effort, and money that we do not have.” Caverly Whittemore

    “CVS needs to stay where they are. To move would be to disrupt the trade of smaller businesses in town. The more they do stuff like this, the less likely I am to support them.” Dwight Sims

    “They sue as a scare tactic. Then cities back down. CVS is not a moral company. They get sued all over the place.” Kathie Haynes

    “CVS is oblivious to the needs of our community. We do not want them here. They are trying to bulldoze us.” Amy Schiff

    “CVS wants to plant their trading post in the middle of our town to colonize and exploit us. Their business model is not likely to survive here.” Lawrence Jaffe

    “Since CVS is not wanted downtown, they could take a small fraction of the money they are spending and improve what they are doing where they are now.” Marty Roberts

    “A local municipality has the right to impose restrictions on behalf of its citizens. This lawsuit is an aggressive over-reach.” Kevin Dawn

    “This makes me sad. Nobody I know wants CVS downtown. We just want them to go away. People are starting to get angry, which will not help their business. This small town will continue to fight. They picked the wrong place to go after.” Gretchen Savidge

    Armstrong Development Vice-President William McDermott was approached for comments, but did not respond before press time.

    Among the strategies being discussed to deal with the suit by various groups and in the streets are the following:

    • Set up a legal defense fund to support the city’s defense.
    • Picket, leaflet, and boycott the current location of CVS and Chase, including pulling prescriptions and moving bank accounts. Occupy Sebastopol has already called for a Jan. 19, Sat., 2-4, peaceful informational picket at the current CVS/Chase location.
    • Civil disobedience.

    After three years of struggle already, CVS vs. Sebastopol may emerge as a classic David vs. Goliath story.

    Shepherd Bliss {3sb@comcat.net} teaches college, farms, and has contributed to two dozen books.
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  24. TopTop #13
    occupied95472's Avatar
    occupied95472
     

    Re: CVS sues Sebastopol

    CVS abandons plan to open a store on Nantucket
    Boston Business Journal by Galen Moore, Web Editor
    Date: Wednesday, November 21, 2012, 7:08am EST
    Wikimedia Commons photo by John Phelan
    No CVS on Nantucket: The drug store chain has bowed to pressure from residents, more than 4,000 of whom signed a petition saying they would not shop there.



    Faced with a petition from residents opposed to chain stores, CVS Caremark (NYSE: CVS) has set aside a plan to open a store on the resort island of Nantucket, Mass.
    Woonsocket, R.I.-based CVS had hoped to take over the Grand Union supermarket. The Grand Union recently shut down, leaving Stop & Shop the only grocery store on Nantucket.
    Family doctor Greg Hinson, a 12-year island resident, started an online petition opposing CVS' arrival on the island and attended a special town meeting to discuss the in-town grocery store question, the Boston Herald reports. But by the time residents convened, CVS had already said it would not attempt to open on Nantucket.
    Hinson's Change.org petition collected 4,533 signatures, declaring, “We will NOT shop at a CVS on Nantucket,” according to the Herald. Nantucket has three local pharmacies, which some petition signers sought to protect. Others were concerned that the Grand Union property should stay a drug store.
    According to the Herald, Board of Selectmen chairwoman Patty Roggeveen said Nantucket officials were prepared to go to court to defend a town bylaw banning “formula businesses” with 14 or more stores.
    Boston-based Winthrop Management manages the Grand Union property for a realty trust.
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  26. TopTop #14
    Shepherd's Avatar
    Shepherd
    Supporting Member

    Re: CVS sues Sebastopol

    433 people have signed the following petition. It took 4000 to sign a petition in Nantucket for CVS to pull out. If you have not already signed the following petition, please do.
    Shepherd

    https://www.change.org/petitions/cvs...-of-sebastopol
    Last edited by Barry; 01-23-2013 at 11:44 AM.
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  28. TopTop #15
    Sara S's Avatar
    Sara S
    Auntie Wacco

    Re: CVS sues Sebastopol

    Thanks for reminding me, Shepherd; I've been dealing with some physical issues (ouch!), so haven't kept up with stuff, but I just signed. Thank you again for all your efforts around this and other issues, which have kept me more informed than the newspapers I Ludditeishly still read.......

    Sara
    Last edited by Barry; 01-23-2013 at 11:44 AM.
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  30. TopTop #16
    Barry's Avatar
    Barry
    Founder & Moderator

    Re: CVS sues Sebastopol

    It's up to 582! Sign it if you haven't done so yet and spread the word!

    Quote Shepherd wrote: View Post
    433 people have signed the following petition. It took 4000 to sign a petition in Nantucket for CVS to pull out. If you have not already signed the following petition, please do.
    Shepherd

    https://www.change.org/petitions/cvs...-of-sebastopol
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  32. TopTop #17
    Barry's Avatar
    Barry
    Founder & Moderator

    Re: CVS sues Sebastopol


    Sebastopol may extend drive-thru ban
    http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20130112/articles/130119813?p=all&tc=pgall

    By BOB NORBERG
    THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
    Published: Saturday, January 12, 2013 at 7:57 p.m.


    The Sebastopol City Council on Tuesday will consider extending its 45-day moratorium on drive-thrus to a year, a move certain to add fuel to the volatile community debate over the CVS Pharmacy-Chase Bank project.

    After a protracted series of acrimonious hearings, the downtown commercial project has received the major approvals for plans that include a pharmacy drive-thru. But the 45-day moratorium adopted Dec. 18 by a reconstituted city council has temporarily blocked that plan — and prompted a lawsuit by the developer, Armstrong Development Inc. of Sacramento

    City Manager Larry McLaughlin on Friday defended the extension of the urgency ordinance as a common step taken by cities.

    “No city can study a subject that is complicated within 45days,” McLaughlin said. “If it is important enough that you need a moratorium, it will take longer than 45 days to study.”

    City officials have insisted the moratorium is not targeted at the CVS-Chase project, proposed at the vacant Pellini Chevrolet dealership, but they acknowledge there are no other proposals pending in the city involving drive-thru service.

    The public hearing on whether to extend the moratorium is not even expected to begin until 10 p.m. Tuesday because of a lengthy council agenda. Mayor Michael Kyes said the late start is unavoidable and should not limit public input.

    “This is a debate over the moratorium, not over the ordinance,” Kyes said. “There will still be plenty of time to debate whether we need to have a drive-thru ban.”

    Kyes said there are many reasons that Sebastopol needs to consider whether to have a drive-thru ban.

    “They are sort of the opposite of the philosophy of the town, that is designed to promote pedestrians and bicycling before accommodating cars and traffic,” he said. “Drive-thrus are perceived as bad for the environment, idling cars getting zero miles per gallon, producing pollution and greenhouse gases.”

    The developer’s lawsuit against the city alleges that the urgency ordinance creating the ban is “arbitrary, capricious, discriminatory.”

    The City Council’s regular meeting begins at 6 p.m. in the Community Center Youth Annex.
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  34. TopTop #18
    Barry's Avatar
    Barry
    Founder & Moderator

    Re: CVS sues Sebastopol

    The CVS/Chase battle is not over!

    The first public hearing for the drive through ban is happening today/tomorrow, Tuesday, January 22nd, held by the Planning Commission.

    No doubt the people who are opposed to the ban will be very motivated to show up to protest. If you support this ban, please attend show your support!

    The agenda is here.

    Barry



    Sebastopol Planning Commission to discuss drive-thru ban Tuesday
    http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20130121/ARTICLES/130129934/1350?Title=Public-debate-over-Sebastopol-drive-thru-ban-coming-Tuesday

    By BOB NORBERG
    THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
    Published: Monday, January 21, 2013 at 1:30 p.m.


    The first public debate over whether Sebastopol should ban drive-thru services will come before the Planning Commission on Tuesday night.

    The City Council has enacted a one-year moratorium on drive-thrus while considering whether to adopt an ordinance that would ban them.

    The only project currently underway that would have drive-thru services is the controversial CVS Pharmacy-Chase Bank branch at the site of the vacant Pellini Chevrolet dealership.

    City officials have said the moratorium is not specifically aimed at that project. However, two current council members voted against it and two new council members were strongly opposed during their election campaigns.

    The CVS project has the major approvals needed to move forward, but the design of the project could be affected.

    The moratorium has prompted a lawsuit against the city by the developer, Armstrong Development Inc.

    The Planning Commission is meeting at 7 p.m. in the Sebastopol Youth Annex.
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  36. TopTop #19
    Barry's Avatar
    Barry
    Founder & Moderator

    Re: CVS sues Sebastopol


    Sebastopol planners recommend complete ban on drive-thrus
    http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article...p=all&tc=pgall
    By BOB NORBERG
    THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
    Published: Tuesday, January 22, 2013 at 3:00 a.m.
    Last Modified: Wednesday, January 23, 2013 at 7:46 a.m.


    A complete ban on new drive-thru services in Sebastopol was recommended by the Planning Commission after two hours of debate Tuesday night.

    The commission also voted to apply the ban to current projects that have not reached the stage of having a building permit and beginning construction, which would affect the controversial CVS Pharmacy-Chase Bank branch project.

    It is seen as a way of making Sebastopol more pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly, preserving the downtown and reducing greenhouse gases.

    "The explosion of drive-thrus has destroyed many small towns," Commissioner Yvette Williams van Aggelen said. "You don't interact with people, you don't interact with your neighbors."

    The city already bans new drive-thru restaurants, but this will broaden the ban and put it into an ordinance that will come back to the commission.

    The commission had taken up the subject at the request of the City Council, which had enacted an emergency moratorium to ban drive-thrus for a year to allow the issue to be studied.

    Sebastopol resident Ted Luthin said drive-thrus particularly don't belong downtown, where there should be higher densities.

    "The land in the core of the city is precious, too precious to give up to drive-thrus," Luthin said. "Put pedestrian experience at a higher value than vehicle experience."

    The ban passed on a 5-2 vote, with commissioners Colin Doyle and Michael Jacob objecting.

    Doyle said the issue is driveways, which should be eliminated as much as possible downtown, and not drive-thrus. He favored regulating drive-thrus by requiring use permits.

    The commission also voted to apply the ban to any project that does not have a building permit.

    That would affect the CVS Pharmacy-Chase Bank project at the site of the vacant Pellini Chevrolet dealership, which has planning approval but not a building permit.

    Bill McDermott, vice president for Armstrong Development of Sacramento, the project's developer, did not speak during the meeting and had no comment afterward.

    However, CVS had made it clear during the planning process that a drive-thru at the pharmacy and bank branch were integral parts of the design and one of the reasons CVS wants to move out of its Redwood Marketplace building.

    Longs Drugs and Armstrong Development have filed suit against the city over the drive-thru moratorium.

    Jacob said that provision sends a wrong message to businesses, which can get planning approval and then have the city change its mind.

    "When a business has reached the point of achieving planning approval and then find out that what they have put in in time and money is being ripped away when the Planning Commission and City Council changes its mind, that can be frustrating," Jacob said.

    You can reach Staff Writer Bob Norberg at 521-5206 or bob.norberg@pressdemocrat.com.
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  37. Gratitude expressed by 4 members:

  38. TopTop #20
    David MySky's Avatar
    David MySky
     

    Re: CVS sues Sebastopol

    If you haven't done this already...

    Change pharmacies! I took all my prescriptions to the small local pharmacy instead, and am just as happy with their service.

    Change banks! I pulled my meager cash reserve out of Wells Fargo and took it too Community Credit Union. There are many good, locally owned banks and credit unions. Exchange Bank is Santa Rosa based, I believe.

    Big corporations are not the job creators. WE are the job creators by virtue of where we decide to spend our money.

    David
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  39. TopTop #21
    RicoBoccia's Avatar
    RicoBoccia
     

    Re: CVS sues Sebastopol

    Does anyone here have access to a copy of the CVS complaint as filed in court? Who is Sebastopol using as attorney to defend the case?
    Thanks in advance,
    Rico
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  41. TopTop #22
    Shepherd's Avatar
    Shepherd
    Supporting Member

    Re: CVS sues Sebastopol

    One way to get a coy of the CVS lawsuit would be to go to City Hall and request one or call them and have them email you a copy. They are closed on Fridays.
    Shepherd

    Quote RicoBoccia wrote: View Post
    Does anyone here have access to a copy of the CVS complaint as filed in court? Who is Sebastopol using as attorney to defend the case?
    Thanks in advance,
    Rico
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  43. TopTop #23
    Barry's Avatar
    Barry
    Founder & Moderator

    Re: CVS sues Sebastopol

    The official doc of the CVS vs City of Sebastopol lawsuit is attached
    (even though the title page refers to "Longs Drugs" )

    It' a fairly accessible read of 12 double spaced pages. Anybody care to comment?

    Also, the City has hired lead counsel Steve Mattas, and associate litigation counsel Ed Grutzacher at Meyers Nave.

    Quote RicoBoccia wrote: View Post
    Does anyone here have access to a copy of the CVS complaint as filed in court? Who is Sebastopol using as attorney to defend the case?
    Thanks in advance,
    Rico
    Attached Files
    Last edited by Barry; 01-30-2013 at 12:27 PM.
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  45. TopTop #24
    lindasw's Avatar
    lindasw
     

    Re: CVS sues Sebastopol

    so. the rhode island big guns have their panties in a bunch over losing some of their dough...
    and they honestly believe that attempting to strong arm and bully this community into submission is going to bring the welcome wagon and tons of business to their doors after this litigation is all said and done? hmmm...dream on....allegedly, longs was purchased by cvs...so why is longs all over these documents? any legal eagles care to comment as to whether or not this could somehow invalidate this ream of paperwork?

    a story...

    when long's was long's, i established a relationship with them and we received weekly donations--go backs, return-to-vendor & damaged items---for the needy clients at my former place of business. when cvs took over, i wrote a nice letter to their corporate offices, welcoming them to the community and asking if they would consider continuing these worthwhile donations. after months of trying to follow up with this vp-of-something-or-other that i had been told to write to, i finally received a curt return phone call. this woman informed me in no uncertain terms that "it is the policy of cvs to have all returns and damaged goods sent back to our corporate offices [in rhode island], so they can then be distributed to "charities of our choice: church affiliates and other worthy causes".. ...the unspoken and the dismissive rang loud and clear: she was letting me know that HIV/AIDS charities would be the last thing they would even consider ever supporting....

    i asked her if she knew of this sonoma county community and the partnerships with local businesses and their support of non-profits...her response: "we really aren't concerned about that"...end of conversation.
    to their credit, the old long's staff still let us sneak in a donation bin that remains there today...but, from the get-go, this clearly was not a company that has cared to understand or research the demographic of this community, how they shop and who they support and why... and, most importantly, they have failed to recognize that this is a determined community of extremely passionate activists....

    hang on tight, cvs/longs or whoever you are...its bound to be a bumpy ride....

    Quote Barry wrote: View Post
    The official doc of the CVS vs City of Sebastopol lawsuit is attached
    (even though the title page refers to "Longs Drugs" )

    It' a fairly accessible read of 12 double spaced pages. Anybody care to comment?

    Also, the City has hired lead counsel Steve Mattas, and associate litigation counsel Ed Grutzacher at Meyers Nave.
    Last edited by Barry; 01-31-2013 at 01:48 PM.
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  46. Gratitude expressed by 7 members:

  47. TopTop #25
    RicoBoccia's Avatar
    RicoBoccia
     

    Re: CVS sues Sebastopol

    Quote lindasw wrote: View Post
    ....allegedly, longs was purchased by cvs...so why is longs all over these documents? any legal eagles care to comment as to whether or not this could somehow invalidate this ream of paperwork? ....
    Not allegedly. Longs Drugs was in fact purchased by CVS Caremark Corporation in 2008. Longs Drug Stores, LLC; and Longs Drug Stores California, LLC; were created in October/November, 2008, apparently as part of the acquisition and possibly to provide an intermediate entity for tax reasons. In any event, the plaintiff Longs Drug Stores California, LLC, is an active California Limited Liability Company (per the California Sec'y of State's web site) and as such has legal standing, generally speaking, to bring a law suit.

    [See the filed legal complaint attached on post #23 on this thread on the website -Barry]

    The complaint itself is interesting. One of the goals of a complaint, when the story is at all complicated, is to sound tough without giving away too much, and in particular without pointing out the weaknesses of your own case. This complaint is pretty good on that score. (The messed up formatting, however, and other things I mention here, make me wonder how much time the two named lawyers, one with 13 years bar membership, the other with 37, really spent working on this.)

    One way to leave things uncertain as to how strong (or weak) your case may be is not to cite applicable authority. Here the plaintiffs say the city had no "rational basis" for its action. Rational basis is, among other things, a constitutional catch-phrase, and one which might be used if one were complaining, say, about not receiving equal protection under the law (a constitutional right), something that is implied here but not explicitly stated. It is also used in other contexts for determining whether a government action is lawful, but plaintiffs give little authority for their claim. They mention California Gov't Code section 65858, which was written into the city ordinance specifically as the authority allowing the city to act in the interests of the public health, safety, or welfare. As a factual matter, plaintiffs will want to argue that a drive-through window at a new CVS store is not a "genuine and immediate" threat to the public health, safety, or welfare. It seems that reasonable people might disagree on this question. The rational basis standard is, however, a low one. When applied to constitutional matters (and a bit more loosely to lesser issues, as here), it typically is enough that the gov't (the city of Sebastopol) had any rational basis for its act (as opposed to a "substantial" or "compelling" gov't/public interest to protect). Even a rational basis thought up *after* the fact, one that the gov't entity *could* have used at the time of the disputed act if it had considered it soon enough, can be enough for the gov't to win.

    Plaintiffs' mention of the Gov't Code with respect to the blind, aged, or disabled seems odd to me and not particularly relevant. The mention of CEQA is also odd to me, with plaintiffs basically saying that the CEQA process covered the situation so there was no need for the new ordinance. Not sure this carries much weight. Also, the hair-splitting over "uses" versus "filing or processing of applications" seems like a stretch.

    In any event, the lawyers at Holland & Knight seem to have done a reasonable job for their clients given what they had to work with. As a business decision, the complaint appears to be one more thing CVS is doing to wear down Sebastopol and the city council, apparently believing we will cave to the "inevitable" in order to save the money and hassle that a yet-longer fight would cost.
    Last edited by Barry; 02-01-2013 at 12:11 PM.
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  48. Gratitude expressed by 6 members:

  49. TopTop #26
    AllorrahBe's Avatar
    AllorrahBe
     

    Re: CVS sues Sebastopol

    This is wonderful news! This gives me more hope and inspiration.
    Blessings, All,
    Rev. BE

    Quote occupied95472 wrote: View Post
    CVS abandons plan to open a store on Nantucket
    Boston Business Journal by Galen Moore, Web Editor
    Date: Wednesday, November 21, 2012, 7:08am EST

    No CVS on Nantucket: The drug store chain has bowed to pressure from residents, more than 4,000 of whom signed a petition saying they would not shop there.

    Faced with a petition from residents opposed to chain stores, CVS Caremark (NYSE: CVS) has set aside a plan to open a store on the resort island of Nantucket, Mass.
    ...
    According to the Herald, Board of Selectmen chairwoman Patty Roggeveen said Nantucket officials were prepared to go to court to defend a town bylaw banning “formula businesses” with 14 or more stores.
    Last edited by Barry; 02-03-2013 at 12:10 PM.
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  50. Gratitude expressed by 2 members:

  51. TopTop #27
    fafner
     

    Re: CVS sues Sebastopol

    Thank you for this.

    You wrote: 'Nantucket officials were prepared to go to court to defend a town bylaw banning “formula businesses” with 14 or more stores'.

    Is this your cause for inspiration? Thinking that Sebastopol can do this???
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  52. TopTop #28
    Richard Nichols's Avatar
    Richard Nichols
     

    Re: CVS sues Sebastopol

    The reason this is encouraging is that evidently CVS corp HQ actually can be reached if enough people speak up. Many in Sebtown already boycott CVS here and we can only hope that that news gets to corporate HQ.

    Quote photolite wrote: View Post
    Sebastopol is not Nantucket, by a long shot.
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  54. TopTop #29
    Barry's Avatar
    Barry
    Founder & Moderator

    Re: CVS sues Sebastopol

    I've split off the recent discussion of the comparison between Sebastopol and Nantucket into it's own thread "CVS vs Sebastopol vs Nantucket" in WaccoTalk.

    Let's keep this thread focused on just the CVS vs Sebastopol part.
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  55. Gratitude expressed by 2 members:

  56. TopTop #30
    Helen Shane's Avatar
    Helen Shane
    Supporting Member

    CVS Update




    Your Help Needed!

    This is to update you on the status of CVS, and to ask you for a contribution to pursue the Small Town Sebastopol lawsuit, if necessary.


    Lest you forget the mammoth, sprawling CVS/Chase project and the congestion it would cause, please spend two minutes to view the video presented by the developer in January 2012. **

    A legal agreement signed by CVS March 2, 2010 indemnified the City of Sebastopol against liability for any award or settlement of the case.

    CVS purchased the site from the Pellini’s, so the family is out of the picture.

    It’s just we the community vs. CVS

    CVS is dealing with three major unresolved obstacles:

    1) CVS is suing the City in Federal District Court for violation of CVS’ civil rights by issuing a moratorium on drive thrus. (Really!)

    2) CalTrans has not approved the permits needed to allow left turns into and out of the project across two lanes of traffic on Sebastopol Ave; more than a year ago, CalTrans requested further information. CVS has not responded.

    3) Our suit, filed in August 2011, charged that the then City Council’s approval for the project was based on a flawed traffic study that did not properly consider The Barlow and the real traffic impact on many streets and intersections in town. We believe that a new traffic study would trigger a full Environmental Impact study that would prove the CVS project would generate unacceptable traffic.

    It is important that CVS know we are not going away.

    We need your help to continue the battle.

    We guarantee that if all of the funds received from this time forward are not needed, equitable refunds will be made.

    We’re counting on you.

    Go to:

    https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/websc...=PQP4AS959VZX6

    or send a check to

    Committee for Small Town Sebastopol
    Exchange Bank
    720 Gravenstein Hwy, No
    Sebastopol, Ca 95472

    Helen Shane and John Kramer

    **http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1uzNmTP7h70
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