Neighbors thrilled National City auto shop is moving out

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NATIONAL CITY, Calif. -- People who live around Kimball Elementary School in National City have won a long-standing struggle with Steve's West Coast Automotive, an auto repair shop across the street.

As of last week, the business in the 1700 block of Coolidge Avenue was told to shut its doors and move on, a decision hailed as a victory for residents and the environmental movement. The shop had been in business for more than 11 years.

Residents had complained for years that the shop was polluting the environment, saying it was partly responsible for an unusual number of asthma and other respiratory illnesses in the area.

"You have fumes that are being sent to the community, to the school, and residents have to breathe that every day 24/7. Imagine what that does to the lungs of little children. It's going to impact their lives forever," said Carolina Martinez of the Environmental Health Coalition, which had been working with residents and the city of National City to move the shop.

The shop's owner, Esteban Vasquez, said he'll shut down as soon as they finish work on several cars still on the property.

He also told FOX 5 the move has been difficult because he has not been able to find another location that the city will approve. Vasquez says it's not fair and that five people, mechanics at the shop, are likely to lose their livelihood.

8 comments

  • bob pearl

    thats why us natives in san diego call it Nasty city as they are of a different batch, self centered and mean , just like republicans oh well hope they choke on their own vomit as you people make me sick, big racists I’m betting

  • thechurchofchrismartin

    When I was first married, I lived in a cheap rental house in Nat’l City, and every afternoon, the air would reek of some kind of industrial odor, when the wind blew east. I do not have asthma, thank God, but I did not dig that odor!

  • Laura

    Carolina Martinez forgot to mention how the parents of the children they drop off actually drop them off on the middle of the street. When they come to pick them up, they’ll honk for their attention also from the middle of the street. Kids run in the street to get into their parents cars by choice! Not because customers block any of the sidewalks.
    She also forgot to mention the freeway is only 2 and 1/2 blocks away west of that elementary school. And that maybe those cars are the ones polluting 24/7.
    Carolina Martinez rally’s up people in the community by promising them goodies, groceries and a better housing once this project goes through. It’s no secret she lies to older ladies or those who don’t speak English well enough to understand what’s really going on.
    One more thing! If kids were getting asthma and diabetes from all the “chemicals” caused by the mechanic shop why has it been a mechanic shop since 1972? Why would National City build a mechanic shop next to a school?
    The truth is. National City has plans to rezone the area and that’s it! They don’t have to spread lies and scare neighbors with their stupid fumes and chemical stories that hurt the children.

  • Carolina Martinez environmental

    so what about the other shops half a block away??? She has no clue about life at all. umm what about the freeway what about the boat yards welding shops recycling spots and all other commercial buildings??? maybe her friend had a bad experience at the shop. How about stop the parents from speeding and parking on the middle of the street cause they are to lazy to park and walk their kids. And please people fix your cars so they dont pollute i counted 14 cars today shooting black smoke and white fumes as they wait for kids to come out??

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