Friday, January 15, 2010

Nic Nak Liquors Not Yet Agendized by City Council


As many of you know, approval of the Nic Nak Liquor Store by the City Planning Commission was appealed to the City Council by concerned residents including members of the East Lorin Neighborhood Association and the Shattuck Crime Prevention Council. A written appeal was submitted pointing out in excrutiating detail the flawed justification of the Planning Commission. Interestingly, the appeal was submitted in mid-October, yet the matter has yet to be agendized by the City. Members of the Community were told the matter would likely be agendized in January then it was pushed back to February, yet we still don't have a firm date. We suspect the City is having difficulty in completing the staff report which must address each and every point raised in the appeal. The approval by the City Planning Commission failed to adequately take into account the entirety of the public record, discounted or disregarded important elements of the public record, and then essentially fabricated a new definition for variances to approve the project.

Importantly, a new issue has been raised by the community. A review of public ownership records shows that the land is owned by Mr. and Mrs. Ashrious Pannell, but the building itself in which the proposed liquor use would reside is owned by Mr. Robert Oosley. Mr. Oosley is not one of the applicants and was not on the application that was approved by the Planning Commission. Normally, an applicant for a permit must have adequate site control with an appropriate legal site interest such as fee title, long-term lease, or other acceptable ownership so they can agree to and satisfy the conditions of the permit. Also, the City must ensure the applicant has adequate site control so they can enforce any conditions that are imposed on the project or on the land. In this case, most of the conditions of approval relate to both the land and the building. Apparently, the applicants have been questioned by the City and have informed them that Oosely is the maiden name of Mrs. Pannell. While that may be the case, it does not prove or verify that the Pannell's have an adequate site interest to be issued a permit. Mr. Robert Oosley is not Mrs. Ashrious Pannell. There is a split in ownership. Some members of the Community contend the Pannells must either have Mr. Oosley as a co-applicant or they must purchase the building from Mr. Oosely or enter into a long-term lease agreement with Mr. Oosley or some other acceptable form of legal site. With a split in ownership, the existing permit approved by the City Planning Commission may be invalid. In any case, the City must clear up this discrepancy in ownership before the matter is agendized by the City Council as it may not be ripe for review.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

So let me get this straight???

Mr. Pannell has already sold the building/business that he told the Planning Council he "would never sell"?

I wonder exactly when this change of ownership took place??

Fight Blight said...

This issue was discovered when a review of the property ownership showed a split in the property tax bill. The assessment indicates the portion of the taxes due for the land is billed to Mr. Pannell and the taxes due for the building improvements are billed to Mr. Oosley. This arrangement has been in place for as long as the building has been around. According to the Tax Assessor, this is often the case when an owner of the land does not have the capital to develop the property and arranges for someone else to develop the property. The building was put into place some time in the late 1960's so it appears Mr. Pannell has not owned the building since that time. The City of Oakland has been requested to clarify the property ownership as it relates to the permitting process and determine if the applicant has the appropriate site control to be issued a permit.

GARY said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Nik nak is not a convienient store it is an eyesore. Why can't there be a nice clean Eco friendly store or farmers market there sans the hideous rv and gate and sign and transients. I guess city council doesn't care about our community: Our safety, property values, the neighborhood vibe, responsible ownership and setting an example for kids.

Roberto said...

We fight blight you are out right wrong for only posting things wrong disgusting things like this. No wonder you remain anonymous , I guess you remain anonymous because you don't want people coming after you about your lies and false information.

Roberta said...

You are only approving what you want to hear... You are sad.

Fight Blight said...

Roberto(a), if that is your name since you can't seem to spell it correctly, can you please explain why you believe the latest post regarding the Nic Nak are lies? Can you factually show any post here is a lie or any statement is a lie? As you have done previously, when faced with information that is contrary to your limited world perspective, you paint it with a broad brush and declare the blog to be full of lies. Now that's what is sad. We have tried to engage the community to think critically and intelligently about the Nic Nak and focus on the legal requirements--rules that are in place and apply to everyone regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, or political connections except Mr. Pannel. Do you have something relevant to add other than painting everyone and everything that you disagree with as a lie? Please try to be specific.

Anonymous said...

So let me get this straight???

Mr. Pannell has already sold the building/business that he told the Planning Council he "would never sell"?

I wonder exactly when this change of ownership took place??

THAT'S IS A LIE!!!

YOU POSTED THIS BLOG TO MAKE PEOPLE THINK THE PANNELL'S ARE BAD PEOPLE AND ARE LYING TO THE COMUNITY. YOU POSTED THIS BLOG BEFORE GETTING ALL YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT! PEOPLE LIKE YOU MAKE ME SICK TO MY STOMACH!! NOW I UNDERSTAND WHY FIGHT BLIGHT DOESN'T WANT TO SAY WHO THEY REALLY ARE.

Anonymous said...

It is the Haves vs. Have-Nots, pretty much. Its like you are throwing rocks at the Pannell family and then hide your hands. ( The PROPAGANDA on this blog and hiding under the name we fight blight.)

Anonymous said...

I am a current law enforcement officer and a former ARMY operator in the South Bay. I pass by this store daily to go to work since moving to South Berkeley. There is a Clean Lot, Nice electric security gate, parking, the sign is not all fancy its just ok, Never see anyone hangout there or loiters,no graffiti or vandalism and the R.V. is not hideous, its old 1980's but not hideous. I really don't see it as a blight on the community. If I was an officer in Oakland, I would be happy to have a store like this in my beat because I wouldn't have to worry about problems. From my knowledge the man never had crime at the store. Now a serious problem we have in this area is the roads, Shattuck avenue is a terrible road to drive on especially if you have low profile tires. Now that is a real blight to the community. Guys this whole liquor store situation is way overblown. To the Anonymous person who was talking about property values I dont think this store would play a dramatic role in diminishing property values. In addition, for the new people who live here did you know there was stores or did you think it was all going to disappear as soon as you arrived. For the older homeowners that lived here for 10 plus years, was this store ever a problem. No however you decide to jump on this bandwagon "Setting an example for kids" really? I guess the example would be is, children if you work really hard like Mr. Pannell has in his lifetime, you can buy whatever want{property, cars, etc} without living check to check. If I had the opportunity like him after retirement to open up a store, wouldn't you? I understand times have change from the 1960s when the store was open to now and everybody wants organic foods and farmers markets. You want him to do something different at that location maybe something that hes not good at, I think he is too old to try something brand new and different than something he has been doing for thirty years, however why stop a very old man from doing something he does very well and that is owning and managing the store without issues. The record speaks for itself.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous Ret Police Officer,

The problem isn't the Pannells.

The problem is making allowances (variances) that weaken the existing laws and policies governing our city.

The truth of the matter is that we don't need an other alcohol outlet. We have plenty of sources for alcohol within easy walking distance of this corner. A variance should be used provide a needed resource, specifically one that the community wants, and not to permit the cannibalization of existing businesses.

Fight Blight said...

Anonymous 9:55 am,

Property owners and tax assessor's records are public information available to any person who visits the Offices in downtown Oakland. Any person, including yourself, can fact check the information in this blog. There is a split ownership: the Pannell's own the land and Robert Oosley owns the building in which the convenience store is currently housed. This is per the County Tax Assessor's Office. Perhaps you can go down to the County Tax Assessor's and obtain information that proves this to be a lie--I think not since We Fight Blight obtained the information directly from the Tax Assessor's when we noticed the assessed value for the Pannell's to be unusually low.

Should you continue to post your unsubtantiated assertions and accusations you will be banned. This blog is intended to facilitate thoughtful discourse on issues related public issues associated with blight in Oakland and Berkeley. You have been asked repeatedly to stop your current approach. Thank you.

Fight Blight said...

Anonymous 10:30 am,

Why on earth you categorize this issue as the "have's versus' the have-nots" is unclear unless you simply want to obfuscate the real legal issue which is whether the new liquor sales are consistent with the laws of the City of Oakland. Mr. Pannell and his family own many properties in the City of Oakland including a house near Grand Lake where they reside. They also own property in Clear Lake. By his own admission at the Planning Commission hearing he boasted at how he and his family were one of the biggest black business owner's in North Oakland. All of this information is available to anyone who has the motivation to accesses public records. The Pannell's are by no means "have-nots". This has nothing to do with the Pannell's and their economic status. It has everything to do with the community not wanting another liquor store since we are already are over-saturated with them. If you think this is propaganda, perhaps you should either provide some factual basis to dispute the postings here or start your own blog and provide a counterpoint to the issues presented here. Simply go to www.blogger.com. There is no fee and anyone can start a blog. It's easy.

Fight Blight said...

Anonymous Retired Police Officer,

We find your comments interesting because you advocate for allowing Mr. Pannell to sell liquor even though it is against the current City regulations--you cannot open another liquor store within 1000 feet of an existing liquor store. Mr. Pannell lost his right to sell liquor by closing down for five years. He is subject to the current rules and laws. Why on earth a law enforcement officer would advocate allowing a person to knowingly violate the law is beyond us. Moreover, we find it interesting that an experienced law enforcement officer would advocate for more liquor stores when there are already in excess of 20 within one mile of the Nic Nak. The overwhelming majority of reputable law enforcement officers we know would never advocate for more liquor stores particularly when there is already an over-concentration of them that are documented sources of problems for the community and result in greater numbers of calls for service.

The law is the law and it applies to everyone equally. You should know that if you really are a law enforcement official. By the way, what City are you currently a law enforcement official and what is your exact title? Do you live in the neighborhood? That would give our readers a better perspective on your views. Thanks.