Citrus Heights Sentinel Logo

Planning Commission to hold public hearing on car wash, gas station ban

By Phillip Pesola–
A public hearing will be held Wednesday at City Hall in Citrus Heights regarding a proposed zoning code amendment that would ban new gas stations and other auto-focused businesses within the Sunrise MarketPlace business district.

A staff report prepared by the city’s Planning Division outlines reasons for, and details of, the proposed zoning overlay. A zoning overlay is a tool used to modify the provisions of the zoning code for a particular area, without rezoning the land.

If approved, the zoning overlay would prohibit new gas stations, major and minor vehicle services, personal storage, and transportation businesses from opening within the area. Existing businesses would be able to continue operating, including when ownership is transferred, and they would also be allowed to expand after obtaining the required permits.

The overlay would cover the commercial areas within the Sunrise MarketPlace, which roughly extend along Sunrise Boulevard from Madison Avenue to just north of Greenback Lane, as well as a portion of Greenback Lane from Birdcage Street to Fair Oaks Boulevard. A map of the overlay area is available on the city’s website.

City staff reached out to neighborhood associations in Citrus Heights and received feedback in support from CHASEN, SOAR, Sunrise Ranch, and Birdcage Heights regarding the proposal.

The proposal was also presented to the Sunrise MarketPlace board of directors and the Citrus Heights Regional Chamber of Commerce. At the time that the staff report was published, neither organization had officially made a statement in support or in opposition of the overlay.

Sunrise MarketPlace Executive Director Kathilynn Carpenter said in an email to The Sentinel that the SMP board “was unable to come to a consensus on the Overlay Ban,” but encouraged the city to help owners of vacant properties find acceptable uses, if specific uses are restricted.

The Planning Commission staff report states that the change is meant to support the vision of the Sunrise Tomorrow Specific Plan. It explains that air quality, noise, traffic, and other impacts of auto-focused businesses could negatively impact the long-term economic growth of the area, and that the limited available space should be used for furthering the plan’s goals.

The Planning Commission is scheduled to review the proposal during their public meeting at 6360 Fountain Square Drive at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 28, during which members of the community are welcome to express their opinions. In order for final approval, the item must also be sent to City Council for a vote.

The proposed text of the zoning overlay has now been released on the city’s website and is viewable by clicking here. Comments regarding the zoning proposal can be directed to the Planning Division by sending an email to, or by calling (916) 727-4740.

Like local news? Sign up for The Sentinel’s free email edition and get two emails a week with all local news and no spam, ever. (Click here)