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February 24, 2010 > Scottrade to open at Union Landing

Scottrade to open at Union Landing

By Shavon Walker

The Union City Planning Commission unanimously approved a zoning text amendment to conditionally permit retail stockbrokerage offices and a use permit to allow a Scottrade to move into in the Union Landing Shopping Center during their meeting on February 18. This could allow additional businesses to open in the shopping center and bring badly needed revenue to the city.

With the amendment, the retail stockbrokerage offices would be conditionally permitted in the Sub-Regional Specialty Commercial (SRSC) area of Union Landing. Currently, financial services are conditionally permitted only in the Community Commercial (CC) area.

Associate Planner Avalon Schultz informed the Planning Commission that SRSC development "is intended for a variety of uses that can provide a mix of retail, office and entertainment uses..." as per the city's General Plan.

The current zoning ordinance notes that the "purpose of SRSC sub-area is to attract shoppers from a sub-regional market area, including areas outside Union City" and that it was "identified as a location for uses not typically found in local neighborhood commercial areas." The amendment fulfills both these requirements. The conditional use permit process will also ensure oversight by staff and the Planning Commission and parking demand for the office is consistent with retail uses.

The second half of the application from Pappas Union City LP is for a use permit to allow the company to locate a Scottrade office in its property at Union Landing Shopping Center.

The proposed company's use is compatible with surrounding uses and with the purposes of the SRSC sub-area. Retail stock brokerage offices would be permitted if Council approves the Planning Commission's recommendation to adopt the zoning text amendment. The use permit will take effect 30 days after Council's approval.

Scottrade provides low-fee, online stock trading to the general public. Stocks priced $1 and above are charged $7 per transaction, which includes online market and equity orders. An account can be opened with a minimum of $500. Branches of Scottrade can be found all over the country. The Union City office will be located at 31047 Courthouse Drive in the Union Landing Shopping Center.

The office will have three to five employees and open Monday - Friday from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eight parking spaces are required with adequate shared parking available on the site. One bike parking space would also be required. The signage would have to comply with the Courthouse Drive shopping center criteria.

There was concern about the number of financial services companies at Union Landing.

"Yes, there are similar businesses in the area," said Commissioner Ray Gonzales, "but Scottrade is exclusive to stock trading. It caters to a specific customer."

"Anything that attracts business to Union City is welcome. It would be good for the city," concluded Commissioner Roy Panlilio.

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