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2001-08-08
Auburn, CA. Wal-Mart Pulls Placer County Plug

According to Dale Smith, who has been fighting Wal-Mart and Home Depot in his hometown of Auburn, California, one battle with Wal-Mart is over. Here's Dale's report: "In a surprising move Wal-Mart proponent Auburn 49 Associates withdrew their " application for an extension of Use Permit No. 1915," in a letter to Placer County July 26, 2001 from Attorney Jeffrey F. Bordelon. This follows the remanding of the case back to the Placer County Superior Court The Third Circuit Court of Appeals handed down a judgement on the Wal-Mart case, remanding the case back to the Trial Court in Placer County. The Nov. 3rd decision handed down was on two very narrow issues and concluded: ". . . the trial court must consider the remaining issues on remand." The case is now moot. The Friends of Placer County and others can only speculate on why developer Jim Conkey finally pulled the plug, we expect that it had something to do with the Planning Department stating that there have been so many major changes in the situation that the developer would have to agree to additional conditions. For instance traffic on Auburn's Blood Alley is considerably worse than 1995/96. The accident rate in 2000 was higher than ever, including several fatalities on that seven mile stretch from Margurite Mine Road to Dry Creek Road. For the Friends of Placer County Communities, Inc. another most important victory came directly out of the Wal-Mart case, the problem of the "cumulative economic impacts" of the mega stores in North Auburn. The County and the Wal-Mart group maintained that it was not necessary to study the economic impacts of a mega-store on the area. Not true, a Third District Court of Appeal ruling confirms the well established rule that a California Environmental Quality Review Act (CEQRA) review must analyze economic impacts that may lead to physical effects on a downtown area. This was a cornerstone argument in our legal case against Wal-Mart. And again in the bruising battle with Home Depot in 1998 when the FPCC forced Placer County to change their policy on this issue. Home Depot was the first megastore in Placer County to be required to prepare such a cumulative economic impact study, and it was titled: Placer County Retail Market and Fiscal Impact Analysis; Home Depot and Cumulative Retail Projects and issued in June/July 1998. After that Home Depot quietly let their first application expire."

What you can do: For more information about the Auburn, CA defeat of Wal-Mart, contact Dale Smith at: drdalesmith@neworld.net.










 
 
"Norman has become the guru of the anti-Wal-Mart movement" ~ 60 Minutes

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