As a proud resident of Eagle Rock, I am extremely concerned at the proposed 7-Eleven development on the corner of York and Tonawanda. While it seems obvious to me that a 24-hour 7-Eleven selling beer and wine in a transitional area of Eagle Rock is a bad idea, let me lay out my main concerns:
1. LAPD is against the development. This alone should tell everyone that the proposed 7-Eleven will have a negative public safety impact on the area. The developers have told us how the 7-Eleven would make the neighborhood safer. I choose to believe the police.
2. A 7-Eleven already exists a half-mile away on Eagle Rock Boulevard and it is a magnet for a multitude of issues, including litter and vagrancy. I have seen nothing that leads me to believe the proposed 7-Eleven on York would be any different.
3.There are already five stores selling beer and wine on the short stretch of York between Avenue 51 and Eagle Rock Boulevard (Bert's Liquor, Oxcy Store, CVS, Ralph's Country Store, York Liquor), and this does not include the aforementioned 7-Eleven. No one with even the slightest knowledge of the area would characterize these establishments as positives for our community. An additional store would only exacerbate the already pressing problems we are facing in this corner of Eagle Rock (crime, homelessness, blight). Study after study demonstrates a clear and undeniable link between offsite alcohol sales and a whole host of problems, including serious criminal activity (please see below). This neighborhood already has the highest concentration of stores offering alcohol for offsite consumption in Eagle Rock and I am at a loss as to why we, as a community, would want another.
4. Toland Way Elementary School is a mere 500 feet away from the proposed site and will further aid an epidemic of obesity that has beset our children by supplying easy access to soda, chips and candy.
5. York has been one of the great success stories in all of L.A. and this is in no small part due to the fact that independent and local businesses have brought a unique and desirable commercial district to a once greatly struggling area. The results have been staggering, with Highland Park and Eagle Rock recently named as two of the top five hottest real estate markets in the nation. It is clear that people pay a premium to live near commercial strips with desirable shops, not near bland corporate chains that increase blight. Eagle Rock deserves better than another strip mall and an approval will jeopardize both commercial and residential land values immediately surrounding the site.
So please, if you too are concerned at the prospect of this strip mall development going through, at the least, e-mail Vanessa Soto (firstname.lastname@example.org) in the Department of City Planning and cc the Eagle Rock Neighborhood Council (email@example.com); let the city know why you don’t want this development in our community. These emails absolutely make a big difference as the more community opposition that exists in the application folder, the more likely the project is to be stopped.
Then attend the next Eagle Rock Neighborhood Council meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 5 at Eagle Rock City Hall (7 p.m). There, you can have your voice heard and the ERNC will have a more complete understanding of your objections.
I have now listened to the developer's presentation twice and this strip mall has no benefit to our community. They have floated names like Peet's and Chipotle as the other tenants, but it is important to note that none of these businesses have actually committed to anything. We could just as easily see a tanning salon or massage parlor end up there as we could a Pinkberry. 7-Eleven hasn't the best reputation when it comes community betterment, which is why communities all over the U.S. are trying to keep them out!
Please note, I am not writing on behalf of the Eagle Rock Neighborhood Council and the opinions expressed are mine and mine alone.