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2004-09-11
American Canyon, CA. Both Sides Unhappy With Preliminary Wal-Mart Approval

It took six hours, but at 1 pm, under cover of darkness, the Planning Commmission in American Canyon, California narrowly voted (3-2) to approve a Wal-Mart supercenter. But the Commission's decision will not be the last word -- because both sides in the dispute will appeal to the City Council. Wal-Mart has indicated that it will appeal the Commission decision because it limited the store's hours from 6 a.m. to midnight. Wal-Mart wants a 24 x 7 store. The San Franciso Chronicle reports that more than 450 people crowded into a school gymnasium Thursday for the hearing on a 176,000-square-foot supercenter to anchor the Napa Junction development on Highway 29. One of the commissioners who voted for the store said American Canyon would be a bad fit for a supercenter "targeted for low-income people," but that the issue before the commission was the store's design, not whether it could come to town. On that man's vote, the store passed. The planning commission also ruled that Wal-Mart must prohibit overnight RV camping in its parking lot, remove graffiti within 24 hours and keep its vending machines and carts out of sight. City officials argued that the project's master plan had been approved in December and included having an unnamed big-box retailer anchor it. Wal-Mart was the only one interested, said City Manager Mark Joseph. A group called the American Canyon Residents United for Responsible Growth plans to appeal the planning commission approval, and have retained Stockton attorney Brett Jolley to represent them. Jolley told the Commission that Wal-Mart should be required to apply for a conditional use permit under city law because it offers retail food sales and because of the size of its sign. The impact of the project should be subject to further environmental review, Jolley said. City officials and developers counter that no special permit is required. They claim the supercenter will bring in more than $600,000 a year in tax revenue, but those figures have been challenged by residents, who say they are gross figures, not net, and do not include the cost of servicing the superstore, and its impact on other businesses that will close and stop paying taxes.

What you can do: For earlier stories on this town, search this data base by "American Canyon."










 
 
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