Thursday, February 14, 2008

Media: Suisun City ratifies Wal-Mart's proposal

By Reporter Staff

In a unanimous decision, the Suisun City Council voted late Tuesday night to approve a Wal-Mart Supercenter in the city. The decision has opponents to the plan saying they are considering filing a lawsuit to stop the project as well as a separate recall efforts against the council members.

The proposal for the store to be located on a 20.8-acre parcel near Highway 12 and Walters Road includes 230,000 square feet of commercial space including a 215,000-square-foot store building plus a fuel station and mini-mart and an 8,000-square-foot sit-down restaurant or commercial use site and parking.

The decision came after a lengthy meeting that stretched into the wee hours before an overflow crowd that was at times boisterous.

Opponents issued a press release Wednesday vowing to fight on and blasting the council for what they said was its decision to build in an unsafe area.

The council's decision was made in three parts. First, was to overrule an Airport Land Use Commission finding that the store is not compatible with nearby Travis Air Force Base. Second was to certify an environmental impact report on the project. Third was to approve the project itself.

City Public Information Officer Scott Corey said the council demanded and Wal-Mart agreed to a number of conditions to win the approval. Among those conditions was an agreement to build an enhanced sound wall to separate the project from homes on the north side of nearby Petersen Road. Wal-Mart officials agreed to extend the wall an additional 300 feet and will pay for a study on extending it even further.

Wal-Mart also agreed to conditions designed to ease fears about the future of the site. If the store closes and goes dark for 36 months, Wal-Mart agreed it would demolish the building or give the city payment for demolishing it.

"That agreement is designed to ease fears about future blight," Corey said, adding that the firm believes the store site will flourish economically.

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