Munich: City slows down delivery service Gorillas in Schwabing

The neighbors of Angererstraße 7d can breathe a sigh of relief: The delivery service Gorillas is not allowed to open another distribution center in the premises of the former Schwabing post office. The local building commission (LBK) has now rejected a corresponding application by the company for a change of use. The main reason for the negative decision: the long operating times. The project, argues the municipal approval authority, is “inadmissible” because it “violates public law regulations”. It is true that the property is in a general residential area in which retail-related service companies are permitted. However, only if they are based on the statutory shop closing times, “to protect the residents”.

The Gorillas delivery service, however, wanted its bicycle couriers to deliver its goods by 11 p.m., and even by 11:45 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. The warehouse itself should be open even longer, from six in the morning to midnight – exceeding the target by up to four hours. And the delivery of the groceries to be sold by truck should have taken place during the rest periods according to the facility description provided. From the LBK’s point of view, the fact that Gorillas has already signed a rental agreement and invested in the use of the premises is not an argument for allowing special regulations. “The conclusion of a rental agreement without holding the necessary building code approval,” according to the authority, “does not represent unreasonable hardship, since the facts of the case were brought about by one’s own actions.”

Even a noise report submitted by the company does not change anything in the assessment, which focuses on “neighbourly interests” and the “maintenance of healthy living conditions”. From the point of view of the authorities, reasons of fire protection and traffic safety also speak against the use of the rooms on Angererstraße by the delivery service. “The crossing of the walking area along the building with the large number of bicycles entering and exiting leads to a hazard to residents who go to the house entrances,” the notice says.

However, the decision of the local building commission does not set a precedent for other gorilla locations in Munich, such as on Lothstrasse, where residents have been protesting alongside local politicians for months against the distribution center. “How the decision turns out depends on the individual case and the circumstances,” explains planning department spokesman Thorsten Vogel. There is a legally valid development plan on Angererstrasse, but not on Lothstrasse. “Paragraph 34 of the building code applies there, so it is checked whether the project fits into the environment – also with regard to noise and traffic”. The result is still pending.

In the case of gorillas themselves, they do not want to comment on the negative decision for Angererstrasse and possible consequences on SZ request. “We ask for your understanding that we do not comment on local expansion plans in detail,” explains a spokeswoman. But Munich is “one of the most popular locations” for the company. In any case, the neighbors on Angererstrasse react with relief to the LBK decision. She feels the decision is “satisfying,” says Birgit Juhl, who campaigned against the settlement of gorillas in the Schwabing residential area almost a year ago and collected around 300 signatures. As a company, you “can’t rent a property that doesn’t suit the circumstances”. A food logistics center with delivery service on e-bikes like that of Gorillas is “not compatible” with the special traffic and living situation in the Angererstrasse area.

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