In early 2013, Paul Petrovich decided to try to shoehorn the Starbucks now located at Raley’s into his small lot between Rite Aid and Burger King near Ashley and Main Streets.  His plan would have worked (and according to Petrovich this move was urgent on the risk of losing this western location of Starbucks), except Petrovich was determined to add to this deal an additional, adjacent retail space of about 1100 square feet.

Reliable sources indicated that, although several Starbucks drive-thru locations dominate this coffee-to-go market in eastern Woodland, Dutch Bros.’ several mid-town locations were eating Starbucks’ lunch within the rest of the City.  Starbucks wanted to expand its market share by opening a new location on Petrovich’s Ashley & Main parcel, abandoning its Raley’s relationship. Petrovich argued that its lease was up and there was urgency to have this project swiftly expedited by the City.

Already, though, squeezing a 1700 square foot, 36 seat Starbucks into this small lot, creating three (3) drive-thru businesses on only about an acre (quite a planning novelty, according to file records) was going to be pretty tough, especially since Petrovich had promised not to construct a second fast-food restaurant upon this site (he claims that Starbucks is not really a restaurant, despite seating 36 persons).

Insistence On Added Retail Space Was Problem

Petrovich’s determination to include a second retail space, however, made the resulting, overall site plan unacceptable to Burger King, which argued that motor-vehicle parking and movement were unreasonably impeded.

On April 25 of 2013, Woodland Planning Commission rubber-stamped approval of Petrovich’s Starbucks plan, in violation of state environmental law regarding use of mitigation measures in cases of claimed categorical exemption from such jurisdiction and over numerous objections from Burger King.

Incredibly, the city at one point even paid $5000 for a traffic study regarding Petrovich’s plan, because he complained that the cost would “kill” it. On the very day that the planning commission met to consider his project, however, Petrovich paid back this money.

Ostensibly, the reason for initial city payment of the cost of Petrovich’s traffic study, was to make him friendlier regarding his various other projects in town.

At this April 25 planning commission hearing, Petrovich claimed he is prepared to — “pay $100,000” — to defend his project in court, but until then had adamantly refused to pay even the minor cost of his required traffic study.

Appeal of this planning commission decision by Burger King, to Woodland City Council, was promptly denied, with the Mayor (Skip Davies) oddly saying that the parties should work this out among themselves.

Lawsuit Resulted

In July of 2013, Burger King filed a lawsuit against Petrovich and obtained a restraining order from Judge Daniel Maguire against project construction pending litigation

Petrovich has recently received what he was preparing for: He has now paid about $100,000 in legal fees to Burger King to defend his initial project, and also been forced to modify his project to eliminate the 1100 square foot retail space he had insisted upon.

Reliable sources indicate that Burger King is settling its lawsuit against City of Woodland and Petrovich on this basis: Removal of this 1100 square foot retail space, providing an acceptable site plan, plus their cost of the needed lawsuit.

[Editor’s note: Please see the following Yolo Sun articles, for a detailed description of this matter (just copy and paste into Google)] :

(a)   Fast-Food Feud Erupts On Woodland Main Street; City Minimizes, Funds Project Analysis – Part One

(b)   Fast-Food Feud Erupts On Woodland Main St.; City Of Woodland Accused Of Unlawful Conduct By Giving Public Funds For Petrovich Project – Part Two

(c)   Fast-Food Feud Erupts On Woodland Main St.; Planning Commission Fails To Grapple With Environmental, Political Issues, Rubberstamps Staff Report, As Petrovich Pays Back City Gift – Part Three

(d)   Fast-Food Feud Erupts On Woodland Main St.; Yolo Superior Court Issues Temporary Restraining Order Against Petrovich’s Starbucks Project – Part Four

(e)   Fast-Food Feud Erupts On Woodland Main St,; Distorted City Planning Displayed By Petrovich’s Starbucks Project, City Manager Spills Beans — Part Five