Property Owner of Empty Gas Station Still Plans to Operate Fueling Facility

City Manager: Owner wants to open a UnoCal gas station.

Written by RANDY SHUN / Published April 2, 2010

The property owner of an empty downtown gas station still plans to operate a fueling station, City Manager Jose Pulido said on Thursday.

Pulido spoke to the owner earlier this week.

“The property owner confirmed that they are in the process of obtaining an approval to open a UnoCal gas station, but that it could take some time,” the city manager wrote in his weekly report on November 19, 2009.

Right now, the unused property sits vacant on the northwest corner of Oak Avenue and Las Tunas Drive. For the past couple of years, the empty gas station has not been operating, creating an eyesore for Temple City officials and local business owners.

Mayor Fernando Vizcarra, who has brought up the vacant property in the past, and other city councilmembers have expressed frustration over the lack of progress being made at the site. Community Development Manager Joseph Lambert provided a brief update at the last city council meeting.

Lambert noted that the owner was looking for a gas operator affiliated with Union 76 (also known as UnoCal), a subsidiary of Chevron. The community development manager also said that the owner “is not interested in selling the property.”

When the issue of the vacant gas station was brought up in November 2007, Lambert then reported that the owner had plans for a self-serve car wash and a new gasoline station. The owner briefly remodeled the property, but since then, there seems to have been no real progress on the property.

Interim City Attorney Eric Vail has previously stated an owner has a right to leave his property vacant, so long as he complies with Temple City’s nuisance code.

Meanwhile, City Manager Pulido intends to follow up with the property owner.

“A meeting will be schedule shortly with the property owner to discuss any improvements that may be necessary in order to ensure that this vacant property complies with all the City’s municipal codes and code enforcement objectives,” he wrote.

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