Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Media: Wal-Mart opponents not retreating -- recall, lawsuits threatened

By Carol Bogart Daily Republic

SUISUN CITY - Sabers are rattling in the 'no supercenter' camp.

Some opponents of the Wal-Mart Supercenter project, which was approved late Tuesday by the Suisun City Council, want to recall the five councilmembers.

The City Council voted unanimously to override the Solano County Airport Land Use Commission's decision that the project wasn't in the best interests of Travis Air Force Base.

A sizable anti-project contingent attended the City Council meeting. Richard Pracht of Suisun City counted 160 people wearing anti-supercenter stickers, he said. In addition to the threatened recall effort, he said others are threatening lawsuits.

'The council didn't listen to the citizens,' Pracht said.

A large number of people also spoke in favor of Wal-Mart, including many who could be directly affected by the location of the supercenter.

Mayor Pete Sanchez and councilmembers Jane Day, Mike Hudson, Sam Derting and Mike Segala were in complete accord in their decision to overrule the ALUC. But before approving the project, the five first insisted that Wal-Mart agree to a number of conditions.

Wal-Mart has agreed to add at least 2 feet to walls designed to mitigate excess noise, Mayor Pete Sanchez said. The retailer also agreed to work with city staff to provide Travis Air Force Base advance notice before any work is done that could affect the base's jet fuel pipeline.

The council pushed Wal-Mart on what will happen to the building if sales don't match expectations of the supercenter. Sanchez said the retailer has agreed to pay the city at least $300,000 to cover the costs of demolishing the building, although the city might find other uses for the structure.

Suisun City's waterfront businesses aren't threatened by Wal-Mart, Business Improvement District president Garry Rowe said.

'I'm sure we can leverage our relationship with Wal-Mart to bring Wal-Mart customers downtown,' he added.

Pracht, 59, and his wife, Pam Pracht, 51, are both veterans. They live four blocks from the Wal-Mart site and said they believe the supercenter will mean more truck noise, traffic and crime.

Marilyn George, a 15-year resident of Suisun City, doesn't believe increased traffic will be a problem and said she looks forward to one-stop shopping.

George also liked that her sales taxes will stay in her own community and added that she's 'just glad to help get this project going.'

A complete list of the conditions can be found at

Reach Carol Bogart at 427-6955 or

No comments: