The trash littered, dirt filled lot next to Domino’s may have some competition soon after 13 years of vacancy.
However, the idea for what will be built there has many residents of Thousand Oaks full of opposition.
The proposal, applied by Megdal and Associates, is for the development of a 24-hour gas station, accompanied by a 7-Eleven.
Before the 7/11 and gas station idea, there were two other proposals: a sit-down Hawaiian barbecue and a drive-thru Starbucks. Both were rejected by the previous principal, Lou Lichtl, due to the possibility of both becoming a ‘student restaurant’, which they wouldn’t want due to constantly being filled with high school students, especially during lunch to off-campus pass holders. Also the fact that the two proposals include outdoor seating would encourage loitering, and only add to the problem addressed.
But where there are gas stations, tobacco, vape products and alcohol will be sold. Dr.Bergmann contacted the applicant for the proposal about how there would be problems if those products were sold less than 100 meters away from a school.
‘Yes, we understand. There will not be vaping material sold in the store.’, responded the applicant, also claiming they will not sell lottery tickets as well.
However, an adversary of the 7/11 project believe that Megdal and Associates will not keep their promise, and will eventually apply for a permit to sell alcohol and other similar items later in the year, regardless of the school’s recommendation.
Highlighted at a public meeting in Westlake to discuss and comment on the proposal, the plan for keeping everybody from complaining more about is to install a 32 camera security system connected directly to VCPD, create a 6 ft back wall to hide noise and light from the nearby residential street, and beautify the area with plants and flowers. A $2.8M investment is going into the entire project, from leveling the ground to installing lighting inside and out.
Despite the promises of cameras and visual improvements, criticism still came from many people. “What good would the gas station be if there’s already two within 0.7 of a mile?” said an individual attending the meeting, regarding the two other gas stations; one on Avenida De Los Arboles and Moorpark Road and the other at Moorpark and Janss Road. Both of the stations are under three quarters of a mile from the school.
Another concern is the amount of traffic that will result in placing a 24-hour 7-Eleven gas station on the opposite corner of a high school. Since the intersection of Avenida De Las Flores and Moorpark Road is already a busy spot, placing a gas station there would not help anything concerning the flow of traffic.
Even more minor comments during the public meeting included the snacks being sold there possibly contradicting the food policies at the high school, the school going into lock down if there are burglaries committed at the gas station, and Thousand Oaks turning into San Fernando Valley, referring to the abundance of gas stations in that area.
One common opinion shared amongst everyone who attended the meeting was that “there is no nice 7/11.”, put simply by a meeting attendee. No matter what the developer does to reduce the amount of loitering and crime that may happen if the proposal gets passed, nothing will stop or prevent any apparent problems. This makes it difficult to develop anything on the dusty lot, since it is very close to both a residential area and a school.
Some people want the 7/11, some do not, and others simply don’t want anything to be built. Regardless of the precautions that are made to prevent loitering, crime, all while keeping traffic flowing and keeping students safe, it will be difficult to solve the concerns addressed in the meeting from happening.