Madeira Wins First Round in Battle With Wal-Mart, City of Elk Grove

This afternoon Friends of Madeira (FOM) scored a first round victory in their battle with the City of Elk Grove and retailing behemoth Wal-M...

This afternoon Friends of Madeira (FOM) scored a first round victory in their battle with the City of Elk Grove and retailing behemoth Wal-Mart over plans for a new store on Bruceville Road in Elk Grove.

Wal-Mart's motion to have the complaint filed by FOM against the city dismissed was denied.

Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Lloyd G. Connelly said he had a "huge issue" with the lack of notice to respondents regarding the status of the project. Apparently FOM had asked the city for information regarding the project and the city said either there was nothing to report or did not respond to requests.

During the hearing it was revealed that city planning director Don Hazen had determined "substantial compliance" for the project but that determination was never noticed.

Much of Wal-Mart's and Elk Grove's argument for dismissal had been that FOM's complaint had not been filed within the 90 day statutory limit.

Another issue addressed during the hearing was what guidelines are used to determine if one project is substantially compliant with another. In this instance, the proposed development site had been approved for a larger Target store but when they withdrew from the site, Wal-Mart proposed a smaller store using the same approvals originally granted to Target while not taking into consideration the entire site.

Connelly overruled Wal-Marts motion for dismissal on this as well as citing non-compliance with CEQA laws in his decision.

No future date has been set, but in discussing the matter with attorney's involved with the case, the court clerk said Connelly's schedule was booked through May and the next available slot would be in late May or July.

Elk Grove city officials did not respond to requests seeking comment on the matter.

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Insania said...

I'd like to know more about Friends of Maderia. Can anyone post a link to any online resources?

Truthfully, I don't understand their concerns, in that the differences between the earlier approved 150,000 sq ft Target and the current plan for a 100,000 sq ft Supercenter, in my mind, are marginal. They are materially the same.

What, exactly, is FoM calling for? An all together different use for that corner? Additional environmental review? Truthfully, if the city is forced into another review that considers urban decay, traffic and air pollution into the evaluation, would FoM really expect the results to overturn this supposed land use?

Suppose, for a minute, that a further review revealed that traffic and air pollution would increase beyond acceptable "targets," and thus a supercenter is deemed unsuitable for that corner. Exactly how is it that traffic and air pollution generated by the low density suburban residents of Madeira would be reduced by driving to the Elk Grove Blvd. WalMart instead? Isn't that exactly what they do today? Discounted mass consumables will be consumed by Madeira consumers regardless. Wouldn't this decision simply shift the burden of traffic and air pollution to the residents on Laguna Springs Drive?

Frankly, this is simply a lulu (locally undesirable land use) to Madeira. The perception of crime and urban blight caused by oceans of parking and blazing mercury arc lamps may reduce the marketability of their housal units...and therefore, their value.

If not a WalMart, what other land use would be considered acceptable by FoM? A Kohls? A Dress for Less?

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