A Few Words on Whole Foods
Posted: August 2nd, 2013 under Councilmember Rasmussen.
“The petitions [from the developers] have been going through for nine months or a year. The city council has developed pretty specific provisions in the municipal code in terms of what the process is, and the reason for that is that in years past, alley vacations were given pretty haphazardly, at the whim of chair of the transportation committee. We decided to develop more guidelines for how the council makes a decision.
“So the petition now says, ‘Here’s what you have to do.’ So that’s what this petitioner has been doing. They’ve been meeting with the community review board and me as well, to try to transform [the site] from a parking lot, auto dealership kind of environment to an environment that’s safer and more walkable.
“They were getting there. Then Whole Foods’ pay and benefits were raised by labor.
“Who the tenant will be on a particular project has never been, to the best of my knowledge, been brought up in right-of-way vacation petition. So that is very interesting that McGinn is saying that because a developer is going to be renting to Whole Foods, we shouldn’t issue the vacation.
“What about the drugstore [going in across the street], the landscaping services—does that mean we should look at labor practices for all services [associated with the development]?
“I would ask Mike McGinn that question: You say, turn it down because you don’t support Whole Foods’ practices—what about the practices of the other tenants?
“What if they leave in two years? What if they never actually sign their lease? No one even looked at what the practices are of the developer itself.
“This not consistent with the standard that we have set for street and alley vacations, and we’ve set the standard over the years to ensure predictability. fairness, and equity. There is a high bar for petitioners to hurdle to get an alley vacation.”