We, the residents of Aptos, and surrounding communities, cannot accept the mega-expansion proposed by Safeway in Rancho Del Mar Shopping Center. Most, if not all of the existing merchants will be forced to close their doors due to two years of construction and the recently raised rents that many of the merchants cannot afford.
Safeway is proposing to expand the existing footprint of their grocery store from approximately 35,000 square feet to 59,000 square feet, raze much of the Center for new construction and reconfigure the gas station. It is common sense that the only businesses that could survive this demolition and construction, while paying higher rents, will be national chain stores. It is proven that a dollar spent at a local business multiplies itself exponentially. Our local merchants, with our loyal patronage keep our hard earned cash here, where it belongs.
Everyone suffers the traffic congestion along Soquel Drive and connecting streets. The roadways are narrow and not built to accommodate even the current traffic demands. Adding more traffic lights will not mitigate the nightmare coming our way during the proposed construction and future traffic generated by larger stores. This increased traffic will harm Aptos, its people and its health.
Aptos is a beautiful and unique area of Santa Cruz County. Such abundance brings responsibility. Therefore, we promise each other, and our local merchants, that we will not allow a multi-national corporation dictate the shape of our future.