SAVE The Market Place Shopping Center - San Ramon

Campaign Created by: Susie Ferris-Inderkum

The funds from this campaign will be received by Susie Ferris-Inderkum.

Goal: USD $50,000
Raised: USD $ 13,701

WE ARE LOCAL CITIZENS FIGHTING TO SAVE The Market Place Shopping Center in the heart of San Ramon, CA. Market Place has been a vital community resource for many, many years. It was anchored by a full-service grocery store, Nob Hill Foods, for over 22 years.  The center is walkable by a vast number of residents which is good for the environment by reducing the need for vehicle miles traveled (VMT) and eliminating greenhouse gas emissions.  For the last 18 years, the owner of the center, TRC Retail, has deliberately let the property fall into decay and disrepair, while at the same time raising rents, that have driven out some of the most beloved and profitable businesses, including Nob Hill Foods, Buffalo Wild Wings, Hopyard Ale House, Roundtable Pizza, Cafe Tandoor, beauty salons, dry cleaners, jewelers, a custom compounding pharmacy and more. In 2021, TRC Retail submitted a housing application that would demolish existing structures at the Market Place (including the Nob Hill space and other small businesses) and at first construct a massive 6-story Apartment Complex. Citizens Against the Market Place Apartment Development (CAMPAD) was able to squash this plan. TRC then came back with a new development application to construct 40 (3 story) Market Rate Homes in a vital retail center. San Ramon does not need more Market Rate housing and 40 homes will not make a difference in the city.  CAMPAD has stressed the need for a smarter, mixed-use plan that includes a full-service grocery store and the type of low-cost housing the city does need for its teachers, police and fire personnel. 40 Market Rate Homes in a shopping center does not fit in our neighborhood and is simply out of place in a mixed-use retail space that provides essential services to our community. Now that Nob Hill has closed (March 15, 2022) we are determined to get a full-service grocery store back in the central part of the city core. We have too many senior citizens on fixed incomes in the area who are now forced to depend on friends or neighbors to take them several miles to another full-service grocery store or to pay for home delivery from those stores. The rest of us, who used to walk to the stores, must get in our cars and drive miles to alternate sources. For nearly 22 months, CAMPAD and its over 1,043+ members have voiced the need for a full-service grocery store in the Market Place to the Planning Commission and the City Council (we know there are at least another 3,000 residents against this project who are not inclined to speak out--until just recently). With every new project the Planning Commission has approved for San Ramon in the Bishop Ranch and City Core areas, the need for that store grows exponentially. Over 1500 new housing units are being built across the Iron Horse Trail from the Market Place and a new hotel is planned for an adjacent corner. Several hundred more units are under construction just down the road. CAMPAD & Responsible Growth San Ramon are being represented by The Greenfire Law Firm, who has been doing an incredible job documenting serious flaws in TRC's development application and the unscrupulous behavior on the part of city staff and city legal representatives who seem to be aiding in the passage of very flawed development application.  We have a pending lawsuit against the city, and an excellent case, that is only getting stronger.  BUT WE ARE GOING TO NEED ADDITIONAL FUNDING TO PAY FOR LEGAL AND COURT COSTS. We are humbly asking for your generosity as we wage our David versus Goliath battle for what is BEST for our Community.  Thank you.

UPDATES

Update #8 - Firehouse 37 CLOSING April 14, 2024
March 31, 2024
facebook X

As most of our community is aware, the property owner (TRC) deliberately allowed the property to fall into serious disrepair for over 12 years. The deplorable condition along with increased rents and other tactics, has already driven out large tenants, like Nob Hill, Buffalo Wild Wings, Roundtable, CVS and now, Firehouse 37. The last day for Firehouse will be April 14th. We can show them some love by stopping in for a libation and a snack before then—and let them know that they will be missed.

Citizens Against the Market Place Apartment/Condo Development (CAMPAD) sued the city over the improper processing and approval of the contrived mixed-use condominium project.

Let me be clear for those who would call us NIMBY’s, our campaign is not to block affordable housing in San Ramon, quite the contrary. If we lose this fight, what will be developed in the Marketplace will not be affordable by anybody's standards. The fight is about our quality of life.

Removing essential retail from the heart of South San Ramon at a time when the population is increasing (and increasing substantially in the area around the Marketplace) is not responsible growth. The loss of these local businesses makes our trips to supermarkets and pharmacies much more difficult. There are currently no other plans to build these types of businesses anywhere else in the city core.

Again, our case has been fully briefed now. The hearing on the merits is set for April 26, 2024. We expect to receive a tentative ruling from the court on April 25, 2024.

We are asking the court to send the whole project back to the drawing board where a Master Plan will be required for the entire properties, and where we hope a new, better, well-balanced mixed-use facility in the Marketplace will emerge. A project in which the ground level will be devoted to stores (including a supermarket), with apartments built on higher levels, and possibly condominiums integrated into the area as well. Such a plan will benefit both the Marketplace and the city overall. We should all be for smart growth, a growth that preserves the quality of life in this town.

As we wait for our court date we ask that you, your friends and neighbors join our grassroots funding efforts to Save the Marketplace and help us raise the funds to cover our Remaining invoice balance of $21,168.00. Our sincerest thank you to those who have helped us reduce the previous balance with you generous support!! A full list of our donors can be found on our website Responsible Growth San Ramon.

CAMPAD is a current and valid 501 (c) 3 business and all donations are tax-deductible to the full extent allowed by law.

Thank you for your continued support of our legal efforts. Stay tuned for our next update.

Sincerely,

Susie Ferris-Inderkum

Citizens Against the Market Place Apartment Development, Inc.

Responsible Growth San Ramon


Update #7 - Now CVS in the Market Place is Closing
March 21, 2024
facebook X

UPDATE: Citizens Against the Market Place Apartment/Condo Development sued the city over the improper processing and approval of the contrived mixed-use condominium project.

Our case has been fully briefed now. The hearing on the merits is set for April 26, 2024. We expect to receive a tentative ruling from the court on April 25, 2024.

As we wait for our next court date, we ask that you, your friends and neighbors join our grassroots funding efforts to Save the Marketplace and help us raise the funds to cover our Remaining invoice balance of $25,368.99.

Your support is critical to our efforts.  CAMPAD is a current and valid 501 (c) 3 business and all donations are tax-deductible to the full extent allowed by law.

As most of our community is aware, the property owner (TRC) deliberately allowed the property to fall into serious disrepair for over 12 years. The deplorable condition of the property, leaky roofs, broken heating, rat infestations, along with increased rents and other tactics, has driven out large tenants, like Nob Hill, Roundtable and now, CVS.

The mileage impacts from this closing will be equal to or exceed the impacts of Nob Hill closing--as regular customers who used to walk to Marketplace now have to get into their cars to purchase their prescriptions and other health needs elsewhere.

The Property Owner, TRC, says that it plans to make improvements to the facade beginning in May of this year. In the 2/15/2024 Architectural Review Board (ARB) TRC referenced adding a "new entry feature to the CVS store" and the meeting minutes noted: "4. The Board recommended the Applicant work with CVS Pharmacy on updating their storefront so that the buildings have a more cohesive design."

Obviously that discussion did not go well. I spoke with the store manager the day after the ARB meeting, and asked if she was aware of the façade changes that were planned. She said no. Once the closing signs went up, I spoke with store employees whose only comment was the property manager was “a piece of work”. The CVS manager said all the employees will be absorbed into other stores.

Thank you for your continued support of our legal efforts. Stay tuned for our next update.

Sincerely,

Susie Ferris-Inderkum

Citizens Against the Market Place Apartment Development, Inc.

Responsible Growth San Ramon


Update #6 Evidentiary Hearing Postponement and Changes to Market Place Facade Project Pending
February 8, 2024
facebook X

updateImage

We found out that a court ruling has been posted today, rescheduling tomorrow’s evidentiary hearing until April 26th.  We believe that suggests that the Judge is taking the case seriously. We also praise God for the additional time to fundraise to cover our court costs.  In addition, we learned that the property owner filed a request to make some facade upgrades to a large portion on the shopping center. We believe that our case has brought to light the years of deliberately deferred building maintenance. See the proposed changes to the Tower. We will refrain from commenting on the proposed changes at this time. We thank you in advance for your financial support!

Update #5 - Legal Brief Updates and New Postings
January 24, 2024
facebook X

Happy 2024! I hope you and your family had a nice holiday season and that the New Year is off to a great start!

Our efforts to save the Market Place, obtain a master plan and restore a full-service grocery store there, have turned the corner as well. We will be posting both the Opposition Brief filed with court by the City and Interested Party on 12/26/2023 and the responsive brief filed by our attorneys on 1/19/2024, to our web site: http://www.responsiblegrowthsanramon.com.

The Opposition brief does not paint me or our members in a very good light. Once posted to the web site, you’ll have a chance to read their invective and scattergun legal approach. Their arguments still do not make a good case, which is perhaps why they resorted to name calling. We are still on solid legal ground and our responsive brief makes that very clear. I encourage you to read them both. 

We humbly ask for your support and remind you that we are a current and valid 501(c) 3 business and all donations are tax-deductible.  Thank You for your continued support!

Update #4 November 28,2023 is Giving Tuesday. Please consider making a Tax deductible Contribution to CAMPAD
November 16, 2023
facebook X

November 28,2023 is Giving Tuesday. Please consider making a Tax deductible Contribution to Citizens Against the Market Place Apartment Development (CAMPAD) legal defense fund, a 501(c)(3) non-profit.  #GivingTuesday.  Again, our efforts are the last best chance that the San Ramon residents have for fighting back against an improperly approved housing development that will destroy vital retail space and eliminate the possibility of a full-service grocery store in the very heart of our growing city center and the main retail corridor of the city.  Please see the latest updates on our website: www.responsiblegrowthsanramon.com

Read the very powerful Opening Brief filed by our attorneys on Monday, November 13, 2023. The defendant’s opposition brief is due by January 22nd.  We will share that information when available.  Thank you so much for your support! #GivingTuesday2023

Update #3
July 26, 2023
facebook X

Citizens Against the Market Place (CAMPAD) NEWS & UPDATES – July 25, 2023

Dear San Ramon Residents:

Grass-roots fund raising remains the lifeblood of our Citizens Against the Market Place (CAMPAD) effort. And that’s where our 100’s of members and supporters come in: I hope you will please encourage your neighbors and friends to consider donating to this important cause to keep the Market Place a viable, local, affordable shopping center 😊 Our lawsuit is the last best chance of telling the City of San Ramon that they must listen to their citizens—especially when those citizens sent thousands of opposition emails and attended every hearing on the subject.

The following is the final paragraph from Jul 24, 2023 in an article in the Pleasanton Weekly, by Jeanita Lyman. The article focused on the Orchard project, by Sunset Development at the old Chevron Park. Last paragraph:  “Commissioner Dave Curtis asked why Sunset Development was seeking a mixed-use development rather than more heavily emphasizing retail and commercial space, with calls to enhance retail options in the city by numerous residents coming in the wake of approved plans to shift the Marketplace Shopping Center to a mixed-use development that has been criticized as stretching the designation by focusing more heavily on housing.”

While the city continues to state that the Market Place condo project is approved, they fail to acknowledge our active lawsuit which is seeking to have their project approval thrown out by the court, on very strong legal grounds. We have come a long way and we are doing everything we can to win.

My last posting in June indicated the next court appearance before the judge was supposed to be on 7/17/2023. If you missed my recent email, a next court appearance has been postponed due to a request from the city for an extension for internal records review and production. Our attorneys have been negotiating over the cost of and responsibility for production of the Administrative Record (AR) for the court. The AR contains the "facts of the case from all involved parties" for the Court. No new date has been set. Our attorneys are tentatively estimating late September.

The city had proposed handling the task of preparing the administrative record (AR) at a cost of $60,000-$80,000. This significantly exceeded our attorney's initial expectation for the AR, which is a much smaller record compared to other recent cases where they negotiated records at a fraction of this estimate. Greenfire is questioning both the validity of the city's 25,000-email estimate and the need to review those emails, particularly since most are likely public opposition comments or communications with TRC, which cannot be privileged.

After several rounds of negotiations, the city provided our attorneys at Greenfire with the first batch of their documents and agreed to allow our attorneys to create the AR.

Greenfire has begun work on this effort, at a greatly reduced cost of approximately $10,000.00. Giving us a new funding target to raise at least $15K within the next 2 months, to cover this phase of the lawsuit.

Lastly, on a sad note, our wonderful webmaster, Ann, who built and maintains our www.responsiblegrowthsanramon.com website, experienced a traumatic home injury that sent her to the hospital and into emergency surgery. Ann is home now but will be out of commission for at least 6 weeks. Therefore, we will not have any new updates to the website until then. Please look for frequent email from me or our Mailchimp CAMPAD1 account. And please add Ann to your prayer list for a full and speedy recovery.

We continue to need your financial support and greatly appreciate any new or repeat donations! Donations of any amount are helpful and greatly valued.

Have a blessed day!

Update #2 - July 14, 2023, Court Date Status
July 15, 2023
facebook X

NEW Update on the Lawsuit against the City of San Ramon and the Market Place project approval. July 23, 2023, will mark the 14th month milestone of TRC submitting the condo project proposal. This means the Market Place space for a new full-service grocery store is still available!! As a result of our efforts and the public hearings, TRC continues to make cosmetic improvements and a new pastry shop opened: Andersen Bakery Cafe. I urge you to try this delicious new business out! Located near Firehouse 37.

My previous posting in June indicated that our next court appearance before the judge would be on 7/17/2023.

That date has been postponed due to a request from the city for an extension for internal records review and production and ongoing negotiations over the cost of and responsibility for production of the Administrative Record (AR) for the court. The AR contains the "facts of the case from all involved parties" for the Court. No new date is known at this time. Our attorneys are tentatively estimating late September.

We did get another win on July 11th when the judge approved our stipulation to consolidate the cases. To remind everyone, we filed an initial case when the city failed to issue a written notice of deficiencies, as requested by the commission and they missed a critical SB330 milestones because of the city's legal advice to staff. We filed our second case following additional missteps and violations of the General Plan, Zoning Code and CEQA.

The courts' approval means that moving forward, the relevant docket is for Case Number N22-1955. We feel this approval, which reduces the complication and potential legal costs, shows the Court is paying attention to our (well founded) legal position early on. Not a bad sign.

So many of you that took the time and effort to attend the various commission and council hearings--have also reached out to me regarding attending the court hearings in-person. In a recent meeting with our attorneys, I asked if there was a value to the community attending these hearings. The attorney's response was, probably not since the Contra Costa County Superior Court will hold most of the meetings via Zoom. The public can listen in or join those zoom calls by checking the court schedule for our case. Please reach out to me via DM if you would like more information about the Contra Costa County Superior Court website.

Please stay tuned for new updates, coming soon, especially some new CAMPAD Zoom Townhalls, where the community can join in to ask questions and discuss some new actions to support this effort.

We continue to need your financial support and greatly appreciate any new or repeat donations!


UPDATE #1 on the Market Place Project and a Request for your financial support
March 21, 2023
facebook X

As most of you know by now, the San Ramon City Council voted to approve the Market Place Project Plan. Disappointing of course, but absolutely NOT the end of the road for our lawsuit.

The Council failed to uphold the basic duties of their positions: adhering to the city charter, enforcing the General Plan, city ordinances and ensuring the welfare and quality of life for all of their citizens. They are elected. And they can be removed.

This fight is no longer just about the Market Place project, it is about the competency or incompetency of our city leadership to deal with the larger political issues of invalid and illegal state housing mandates, their own poorly written guidelines, insubordinate and deceptive staff members and unscrupulous developers.

The city has known for over two years that the Market Place housing project is an unnecessary and poorly conceived project, and that the vast majority of the residents are against the destruction of their local retail and service center. This project will do absolutely nothing to benefit our community. But it will set a destructive precedent for the rest of the retail and service centers in the city.

Our attorneys are filing an amended complaint with the court. The amended complaint adds the latest legal violations that occurred during Tuesday’s meeting, including the improper waiver of an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) to the record.

Our group would like to ensure that city processes and policies are improved, and documents updated to close many of the gaps that currently exist and contributed to the mess with Market Place. We are hopeful that a judge may return the project to the initiation phase and possibly a redo. Otherwise, we see any delay or slowdown of the project, as a good thing. And perhaps even forcing TRC to reconsider the whole situation and have them decide to sell the property to a buyer who would come in and build a modern, smartly designed mixed-use complex that would truly benefit the whole community.

Responsible Growth San Ramon and Citizens Against the Market Place Apt/Condo Development (CAMPAD) are not finished fighting this nor are we backing down. We are soliciting donations from the community to help fund these new, BUT ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY, legal efforts. I hope we can count on your financial support.


PRAYER REQUESTS

Click the Pray button to let the campaign owner know you are praying for them.