Kathryn Palmer, PETALUMA ARGUS-COURIER
Safeway is walking away from its embattled Petaluma gas station project after years of resident-led pushback, city officials and a Safeway representative confirmed Friday.
The decision marks a victory for opposition group NoGasHere, which has been locked in a nearly two-year legal battle with the grocery giant and the city of Petaluma over the project. And it comes on the heels of the city’s first-in-the-nation ban on new gas stations, which drew national attention after it was passed March 1.
Safeway spokeswoman Wendy Gutshall confirmed the company is abandoning the project in an emailed statement to the Argus-Courier Friday, explaining that the company is choosing not to pursue renewed project approvals from the city after they lapsed earlier this month.
“We appreciate those who supported a new Safeway gas station at the Washington Square Shopping Center in Petaluma,” she said in the message. “The city’s approval of the project on April 1, 2019, was valid for two years, and the project approvals recently expired. The project has come to an end.”
The project has drawn heated opposition from Petaluma residents and some local business owners since the national chain unveiled its plans for the Washington Square addition in 2013, with NoGasHere leaders objecting over potential environmental impacts and increased traffic hazards.