Economist and former Labor Secretary Robert Reich gave a standing-room-only audience Monday in Santa Rosa a crash course in how the nation’s economy went sour.
Wal-Mart’s plan to expand its Rohnert Park store by adding a grocery store overcame on Thursday the Planning Commission roadblock it ran into in 2010. This time, planners approved the project’s environmental impact report. The decision delighted officials from Wal-Mart, which has pursued the project for at least four years.
Wal-Mart is resuming efforts to expand its Rohnert Park store into a superstore, reviving a controversial plan that was halted in court after one of the more divisive arguments in recent city history. The city Planning Commission will hold a public hearing Thursday to review the project and new studies evaluating its effect on the community.
Wal-Mart may revive a controversial plan to expand its Rohnert Park store with a 32,000-square-foot grocery — a proposal approved by the city two years ago but then stopped in court. ‘We’re evaluating the next steps and working with the city on the requirements established by the judge’s ruling,’ said Wal-Mart West media director Delia Garcia. She was referring to a 2011 decision in which Sonoma County Superior Court Judge Rene Chouteau said parts of the environmental report for the project were inadequate.
Wal-Mart’s expansion of its Rohnert Park store hit a bump Thursday when a Sonoma County judge ruled more work is needed on noise and parking issues.
Foes of a Wal-Mart Supercenter have sued Rohnert Park, challenging the City Council’s approval in August of the company’s application to expand in its Redwood Drive location. The Sierra Club and Sonoma County Conservation Action argue that the council’s decision violates land use policies outlined in the city’s general plan, which encourages supermarkets to be “close to where people live.”
A day after the Rohnert Park City Council gave the go ahead for the controversial expansion of Wal-Mart, divisions remained razor sharp over the proposed supercenter. Will critics file a legal challenge? One councilmember thinks they have solid grounds for a lawsuit.
Wal-Mart on Thursday won over a majority of the Rohnert Park City Council, which opened the door to Sonoma County’s first Supercenter by allowing the company to add a 32,000-square-foot grocery to its existing Redwood Drive store.
The Rohnert Park City Council meets Thursday to decide the fate of the controversial Wal-Mart expansion. Opponents argue that giant corporations like Wal-Mart fray community identities, depress wages and hurt local economies. Supporters maintain that commercial competition creates more choices and lower prices for consumers. What’s your take?
Do critics who oppose Wal-Mart’s plans to expand its Rohnert Park store want to prohibit competition and consumer choice? That’s the opinion of Alberta Carter, a Sebastopol resident who shops at Wal-Mart. Read her take on the controversy.