Empty Downtown Gas Station Bothers Councilmembers

Lambert: Owner appears to be looking for a Union 76 operator

Written by RANDY SHUN / Published March 5, 2010

An empty gas station that has not been operating in the past couple of years continues to be eyesore for Temple City officials.

The owner of the downtown facility plans to have a Union 76 gas station there, reported community development manager Joseph Lambert at the November 3, 2009 city council meeting. The owner is apparently looking for a gas operator affiliated with Union 76.

“He doesn’t plan to pursue it as a Shell station,” Lambert said.

The property sits vacant on the corner of Oak Avenue and Las Tunas Drive.

Although the owner is not generating any revenue, “He’s not interested in selling the property,” the community development manager stated. In addition, the owner also did not give a timeline of when a gas station might operate.

The property has no pressing environmental issues, Lambert affirmed, in response to a question by councilman Tom Chavez.

Chavez, along with mayor Fernando Vizcarra and councilwoman Judy Wong, appeared to be visibly annoyed that the facility was still not running, despite the issue having existed for a while.

In November 2007, community development manager Lambert reported that there were plans for a self-serve car wash and a new gasoline station. But since then, there seems to have been no real progress on the property.

According to interim city attorney Eric Vail, an owner had a right to leave his property vacant, as long as he complies with the city’s nuisance code.

“We’ll push it as proactively as we can,” assured city manager Jose Pulido. Pulido, who recently assumed the reins of city manager, informed city officials that he would conduct a site visit and report back.

“We’ll nudge them along.”

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