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1998-08-13
North Auburn, CA. Wal-Mart loses, hands down.

An update to our July 30th entry about Wal-Mart's multi-year efforts to get into this California town. A Placer County Superior Court Judge ruled on August 4th. that Wal-Mart's 10 volume environmental impact report was impossible to comprehend and therefore did not meet requirements under the state's environmental quality act (CEQA). The Judge ordered Placer County, which had approved the project, to set it aside and vacate the Wal-Mart conditional use permit. The lawyer for the county gave an honest assessment of what happened to Wal-Mart: "We lost hands down. It was an unequivocal victory for the petitioners." The Friends of Placer County, which is also fighting a Home Depot and a Target, called the court ruling "a stunning victory". The Friends' lawyer said the judge found the Wal-Mart documents "too confusing, and the EIR was too difficult to understand." The EIR was a hodgepodge of studies compiled over an eight year period, impossible to unravel. "This resulted in the people being denied their legal due process by Placer County," said the Friends. As a result of this decision, Wal-Mart not only lost their permit, but they have to pay legal costs for the Friends, as well as those of the county. In 1996, the Board of Supervisors approved the project by a one vote margin, 3-2. A week after that vote, one of the Supervisors was defeated in a reelection bid, rejected by voters because he waffled on the Wal-Mart vote.

What you can do: See the July 30th. entry for more details. The attorney who assisted in the Friends' case is Bill Kopper, who can be reached at 530-758-0757.










 
 
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