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Olivewood Market Won't Appeal City for Alcohol Sales

The developer, Oak Grove Equities, was denied a variance in November by the Murrieta Planning Commission.

A group developing a market on the corner of Kalmia Street and Jefferson Avenue reneged on its appeal to the City of Murrieta for a code variance to sell alcohol.

"The applicant has agreed to withdraw the item in light of the ordinance being passed," said City Planner Cynthia Kinser, referring to the .

The developer, Oak Grove Equities, was denied a variance in November by the Murrieta Planning Commission. Because its square footage of 8,900 square feet fell below 12,000 square feet, it was subject to distance requirements of 1,000 feet between parks, schools and churches. It also needed to be more than 500 feet from residences.

The market is located within 485 feet of Monte Vista Apartments and 720 feet of Town Square Park.

Developers sought to appeal the Planning Commission's decision Tuesday during a public hearing in front of City Council, but announced they would not seek the appeal after all.

Under the City's recently-passed alcohol ordinance, the 1,000-foot distance requirement was changed to 600 feet. Additionally, businesses now have the option of going before City Council for conditional use permits if they are located closer than the 600 feet.

Farmstead Market is slated to go into the corner building constructed in 1965 as veterinarian horse hospital. Owners plan to remodel the building but keep its historical character. Farmstead Market is designed as a community store, offering organic dairy, local produce, a salad bar and cheese counter, along with typical groceries, wine, beer and spirits.

When completed, Olivewood is slated to be a 52,000-square-foot retail/office center. The project's original plans were approved in 2007.

UPDATE 4/21/11: Rick Neugebauer, project manager for Oak Grove Equities and for the Farmstead Market, said the project will be able to proceed without special permission for alcohol sales. Under the new ordinance, size restrictions for businesses wishing to sell alcohol have been revised to 7,000-square-feet or greater. Farmstead Market will be 8,990 sqaure feet.

Diana Serafin April 20, 2011 at 01:25 PM
Big Brother has come to Murrieta!
Monica Atherton April 20, 2011 at 03:13 PM
This is sad since it is supposed to be a "home grown" type market and one of our biggest industries in town are the wineries. :(
Cheryl Williams April 20, 2011 at 03:47 PM
Who's actually benefiting from hurting this business? There must be a financial reward to someone. The ordinaces are not there to benefit the citizens that's for sure. The council won't even pass measures that the citizens vote for by a huge majority, C, D,E. so what should you expect. We must clean house and get honest people in that care about our community.
Maggie Avants (Editor) April 21, 2011 at 10:48 PM
I talked with the developer of this market this morning, and turns out they do not need to apply for anything. Under the new ordinance, the owner said alcohol sales are permitted in stores over 7,000 square feet.

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