|Walmart’s revised EIR on RP planners’ agenda Jan. 24
It was almost exactly four years ago (Jan. 21, 2009), when Walmart filed an application with the City of Rohnert Park to expand its Redwood Drive center into a "super-store" to include groceries, meats, fruits and vegetables in its merchandise offerings.
The city's Planning Commission will discuss the proposal Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013, in City Hall beginning at 7 p.m.
Walmart's 2009 request drew an almost immediate response when Pacific Market, anchor store in the shopping center on Golf Course Drive, announced it was closing. Part of the blame was Walmart's expansion plan, and public opinion was almost evenly divided.
Walmart's expansion will be adding 32,000 square feet for food service and sales plus smaller expansions elsewhere inside. The store has 131,532 square feet now and will grow to 166,788 square feet, according to their plans.
In the intervening four years, most of the action took place in RP City Hall or in courtrooms.
On April 22, 2010, the planning commission denied Walmart's Environmental Impact Report (EIR) with a 4-0 vote. Walmart appealed, and RP's City Council overturned the commission's decision, 4-1, July 29, 2010.
Then, the Sierra Club and Sonoma County Conservation Action filed a suit in Superior Court against the city council's decision. On June 9, 2011, the Superior Court upheld most of Walmart's EIR but said the parts about traffic management and roadway noise impact would have to be revised. This order was issued Feb. 16, 2012.
Walmart revised its EIR, and this document will be on the planning commission's agenda Jan. 24. Also included will be a mitigation monitoring program, site plan architectural review and sign program.