Stop Flock Freight from Taking over the Whole Foods Building

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Stop Flock Freight from Taking over the Whole Foods Building

This petition made change with 509 supporters!
Erin McNalley started this petition to Encinitas City Council and

Years ago, when the Whole Foods and apartment building went in, the site was sold to residents as mixed zoning. The alleged draw for residents, having the first building drastically change the character of Downtown Encinitas, was that we would finally have a grocery store in Downtown Encinitas again after nearly 20 years of no grocery stores. As our convenience stores were eroded and replaced by retail and coffee shops, having a grocery store was a promise of non-restaurant food in the area. 

Having a grocery store, albeit Whole Foods, was a welcome change. Residents could walk to get groceries for the first time since the natural foods market next door went out of business, decades ago. A tech startup with 400 employees does not have the same direct benefits for the residents of Downtown Encinitas. It does not increase the walkability of our city, which has a walk score of 38. Relatedly, we are concerned about food justice. Everyone deserves access to nutrient-dense food. It is ableist and classist to remove a grocery store and replace it with a tech startup. It assumes everyone has access to drive further to get their groceries. If we cannot even keep a grocery store in our 87% white city, how can we begin we fight food apartheid, which disproportionately affects BIPOC?

There is also the issue of where these 400+ employees will live. Encinitas is already wading knee-deep in a housing crisis. Will the Flock Freight Employees be able to live here? If not, how will they commute? There is not parking infrastructure for 400+ employees. Will Flock Freight incentivize public transit for their employees? Will they build electric chargers to which the community can also access? 

We are concerned about the potential greenwashing of a business that was rejected in our sister city to the south, Solana Beach, because there was no plan in place to address a huge influx of commuting employees. We ask that B Corp re-evaluate the certification of Flock Freight. Is a company that takes over a grocery store's previous space with no new grocery store in the area truly deserving of B Corp certification? 

News of this move-in reached many of us just as City Council took summer recess. We ask the city council to block all development and move-in dates on Flock Freight until the community has time to voice our concerns and Flock Freight and the Encinitas City Council have time to respond.

Sincerely,

Former and Current Residents of Encinitas

Edited for clarity around food justice and to add the Union Tribune article and link to Encinitas 101 Mainstreet Association Instagram post which says that Flock Freight will be taking over a portion of the Whole Foods building.

SDUT article: https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/business/story/2021-06-22/this-tech-startup-is-snapping-up-failing-retail-buildings-in-encinitas-for-a-sprawling-beach-campus

Encinitas 101 Mainstreet Post: https://www.instagram.com/p/CQvzAC-jEbB/

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