A group of residents who live near the proposed Walmart in Galt near Twin Cities Road and Fermoy Way have filed a lawsuit against the project.
The Galt Citizens for Sensible Planning filed the suit on May 17 in Sacramento Superior Court.
City Manager Jason Behrmann said the court process will delay the Walmart for at least 9 months. The store could be delayed further if the court rules that the city has to redo any part of the environmental analysis.
And even if the judge throws out the challenges, there could be a delay if the group appeals the decision, Behrmann said.
The lawsuit lists 108 reasons they believe the environmental impact report the city prepared does not meet the California Environmental Quality Act. The state law mandates that cities and counties study the effect any new development will have on the surrounding environment.
The residents argue the report did not meet state standards because the analysis of traffic included flawed data, it did not consider the aesthetic of constructing 12 foot walls around the project, and there was not a detailed enough study on storm water.
The lawsuit also states that the report includes flawed data on how the project will affect air quality, noise and lighting.
Walmart spokeswoman Angie Stoner said she could not speak specifically about the lawsuit, but the retailer believes the Galt City Council approved an adequate environmental impact report.
"It's a great disappointment that this lawsuit could cause a delay in putting 300 people to work and getting sales tax for the city. We continue to hear from Galt residents even after the approval that they are desperate for jobs and convenience a local Walmart could provide," Stoner said.
The city has an indemnification agreement with Walmart, so the retailer will be responsible for any legal expenses, Behrmann said. He said the city will hire outside counsel to work on the case.
All the concerns listed in the lawsuit have been brought up at public meetings or in their written comments on the analysis.
"We feel like all the concerns have been addressed and mitigated, but they obviously disagree," he said.
The case has been assigned to Superior Court Judge Tim Frawley, but there is no court date scheduled.
In March, Frawley ruled on a case involving a retail center with a Walmart in Rocklin. Loomis and Rocklin Residents for Responsible Growth put in a variety of challenges on the city's environmental analysis, according to a story in the Sacramento Business Journal.
He dismissed all the challenges with the exception of one. He said the city needed to redo its traffic study because it was confusing and conflicted with the economic impact/urban decay report.