May 18, 2022

Botu Linum

The Car & Automotive Devotees

San Anselmo adopts temporary ban on gas stations

2 min read

San Anselmo has passed a temporary ban on new and expanded gas stations in town.

The Town Council voted 4-1, with Councilwoman Eileen Burke dissenting, to enact the 45-day moratorium as an urgency ordinance, effective immediately.

The decision came following an incomplete application filed in January to add two new fueling terminals at the Gas and Shop station at 750 Sir Francis Drake Blvd. The station’s owner, Andy’s BP, Inc., could not be reached for comment.

A month earlier, the council received a recommendation to consider several climate action policies, including a permanent ban on new gas station facilities. The Feb. 8 decision pauses applications until officials have evaluated whether it wants to make the prohibition permanent.

Petaluma has banned new gas stations. A handful of other communities that have considered similar bans, including Sonoma and Sebastopol.

In San Anselmo, there are three gas stations in town: two eight-pump stations, the Gas and Shop and Circle K at 930 Sir Francis Drake Blvd.; and a four-pump station at Fara’s Auto, 98 Sir Francis Drake Blvd.

Burke said she didn’t want the town to lose out on revenue. In fiscal year 2021, the town collected $122,744 from fuel and service sales tax and $62,945 from Measure D sales tax.

She also said adding new pumps to the applicant’s gas station would help move drivers through more quickly and reduce the amount of idling cars emitting carbon at the busy station.

“I think we should let the free market and resident demand dictate the life of gas stations,” she said. “I don’t see this as a step toward the future. I don’t think we need the emergency ordinance and I don’t think this is necessary.”

Mayor Alexis Fineman said it’s a question of why the town would expand fossil fuel infrastructure.

“Or why are we not doing what we can to prevent the expansion?” she asked the council. “I think that’s where I personally draw the urgency.”

San Anselmo adopts temporary ban on gas stations