Nearly everyone on the Land Use Committee knew the store, and shop there, or even take dog training classes there, but they expressed some hesitation about the proposed expansion planned for their local.
The manager wants to expand Petco, at 12800 Ventura Blvd., to offer services like grooming so that it would be in line with other similar stores around the city. A vacancy next door opened up, so the building wouldn't be expanded, just the services in the store.
Neighbors meanwhile complain that people park on the street in the neighborhood rather than go into the underground garage—which some people didn’t even know existed.
“People park in our neighborhood and walk to the store and the throw their dog poo in our bushes,” said resident Wayne Cole, who presented a petition with more than 120 signatures protesting the store plans. About three dozen people attended the meeting.
Petco plans to expand into an empty space, not actually add to their building, and wants to offer more services. They don’t expect it to add to car traffic or parking because classes only have a few people at a time, and are scheduled throughout the day.
Scott Sommer, lawyer for the pet store, said, “We are out of space.”
The shop would be 8,000 square feet and reconfigure the inside of the store.
Delia Barragan, the store manager, said she has tried to comply with the Ventura Boulevard Corridor Specific Plan and taken down large cute pet photos that were on the windows, but didn't comply with the design plan.
"I liked those displays," said Land Use chairperson Lisa Sarkin. "But the rules say they can't touch the window."
Cole said his concern is that he has lived in the area since 1977 and since the Petco moved in around 1995, he had petitions to stop their expansion and adoptions because he said it created a nuisance in the neighborhood.
Petco representatives said they would withdraw their request for an exception and expansion and reconfiguration of the store until they work it out with the committee and neighborhood and return within 90 days.