Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Suisun City Council Unanimously Approves Wal-Mart

The Suisun City Council unanimously approved late Tuesday night a Wal-Mart Supercenter, gas station and standalone sit-down restaurant proposed for Highway 12 at Walters Road after a lively and balanced debate by both opponents and proponents of the project.

The proposal outlined a 215,000-square-foot Supercenter with outdoor garden center and grocery section on a 20.8-acre triangular parcel zoned for General Commerical use for nearly two decades.
During the 6 hour and 45 minute hearing, 65 members of the public addressed the City Council presenting passionate arguments both for and against the proposed development.

The Council cast unanimous votes to:
  • Override the recommendation of the Solano County Airport Land Use Commission, which found the project to be inconsistent with the Travis Airport Land Use Plan;
  • Certify the Final Environmental Impact Report with appropriate statements of overriding consideration; and
  • Approve all project applications, including many additional mitigation measures negotiated with Wal-Mart officials during the course of City Council deliberations.

The new Wal-Mart will provide new shopping opportunities much closer to home for Suisun City residents - something heard repeatedly articulated as a "need" by the public at both the Planning Commission and City Council hearings.

The City Council secured enhanced mitigation measures from Wal-Mart, including:

  • Extended sound walls and a committment to study further extension of sound barriers at Wal-Mart's expense;
  • Committment to use anti-theft devices on shopping carts to keep them on the store's property and out of nearby neighborhoods;
  • Committment to comply with strict City ordinances governing grafitti prevention and removal;
  • Committment to comply with strict City ordinances mandating removal of abandoned vehicles; and
  • Committment to include the Suisun City store in Wal-Mart's pilot solar power program and install the system should it provide feasible.

The 8,000-sqaure-foot sit-down restuarant, tenanted by a national chain, will be located west of the Wal-Mart Supercenter. A 12-pump independent gas station with associated 4,100-square-foot convenience store and automated car wash is planned at the corner of Highway 12 and Walters Road.

The project also will include a 35-foot tall sign welcoming highway travelers to Suisun City and featuring a message board that can be used to promote City events and present important messages.

Based on the results of an independent study conducted for the City, the project is expected to generate approximately $800,000 in sales taces the first full year of operation, which increases to $1.6 million after 20 years. Overall, the net fiscal impact to the General Fund from this project is estimated to be roughly $965,000 a year, after costs to serve the project are deducted from gross revenues generated.

Currently, Suisun City experiences a loss of upwards of 70% of potential sales tax revenue to neighboring communities. Suisun City captures about $2,875 per capita in annual taxable sales compared to $12,693 per capita for Fairfield, $9,892 per capita average across all Solano County jurisidictions and $10,068 per capita average for all California cities.

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