Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Wal-Mart aims for Sept. 19 opening in American Canyon

Wal-Mart aims for Sept. 19 opening

By DAN JUDGE/Times-Herald staff writer

Article Launched: 08/09/2007 07:08:14 AM PDT

AMERICAN CANYON - The legal battle to keep a Wal-Mart Supercenter from opening here is officially over, city officials say.

The final deadline to appeal a Napa judge's recent decision to let construction resume on the 194,000-square-foot big-box store has passed, ending a years-long journey through the court system.

"There are no legal constraints left to the store's opening," City Attorney William Ross said.

Wal-Mart spokesman Kevin Loscotoff said the company is targeting Sept. 19 for its first day of business.

"We are certainly excited to be moving forward," Loscotoff said. "We appreciate the support we received from the American Canyon community and their patience as we pursued the Supercenter."

The store will generate hundreds of jobs, provide residents with more shopping opportunities and is expected to generate at least $600,000 annually in sales tax revenue for the city, Loscotoff said.

After years of legal wrangling, Napa Superior Court Judge Raymond Guadagni ruled in May that the Supercenter, which includes a grocery store, could open.

The city originally approved the store as the anchor for the Napa Junction mixed-use project in 2004. The action quickly drew lawsuits from two groups, Citizens Against Poor Planning and American Canyon Community United for Responsible Growth.

The state Court of Appeal in San Francisco overturned the city's decision, saying the store's size was misrepresented and its potential impacts on traffic and the local economy had not been adequately studied.

New traffic and economic studies were conducted and the city eventually reapproved permits and Judge Guadagni found the city had satisfied the appellate court's concerns.

Several City Council members said they were pleased the conflict has apparently ended.

"I think almost everyone in the city is relieved that we can finally get on with this," Councilwoman Joan Bennett said. "We wasted a lot of time and resources on fighting that battle and lost an awful lot of tax revenue by not having Wal-Mart open."

Mayor Leon Garcia echoed those sentiments. "I think having a retail anchor like that is going to be tremendous for American Canyon," he said.

E-mail Dan Judge at UBDJudge@thnewsnet.com or call 553-6831.

Solano's Got It!

Solano's Got It!
The Best That Northern California Has To Offer.

Blog Archive