Judge tentatively approves Atascadero Walmart
April 23, 2013
A San Luis Obispo Superior Court judge tentatively ruled against a lawsuit alleging that the city of Atascadero did not follow environmental laws in the process of approving the construction of a Walmart. [Tribune]
Save Atascadero, a group opposed to the Walmart project, claimed that the environmental impact report conducted by the city did not sufficiently examine air quality impacts that traffic caused by the Walmart and an adjacent development would create. But, Judge Jac Crawford ruled that Atascadero lawfully approved the Walmart project.
“There is sufficient evidence in the record to support the city’s conclusion in the final (environmental review report) that there are no significant (toxic air contaminate) impacts,” Crawford said. “Conversely, the city did not fail to proceed as required by law.”
Crawford must now affirm or alter his tentative ruling. If the judge affirms his ruling against Save Atascadero, the group could still appeal.
If Crawford’s ruling becomes final, construction can begin. Prior to the lawsuit, Walmart planned to open its Atascadero super store in 2014.
Atascadero Mayor Tom O’Malley and Councilman Bob Kelley each issued statements announcing their satisfaction with Crawford’s tentative ruling.