A Sacramento County Superior Court judge struck down a legal challenge of the Galt Walmart, moving the project one step closer to construction. Judge Timothy Frawley ruled last Wednesday that the project could move forward with the construction process, but the city needs to revisit one aspect of the project's state-mandated environmental reports.
Walmart will most likely hold off starting construction until it knows whether the Galt Citizens for Sensible Planning will file an appeal of the judge's ruling, City Attorney Steve Rudolph said. The group has 60 days to decide whether it will appeal.
"Walmart has the risk that if there is an unfavorable decision at the appellate court, they are out any money for the building permit and any construction they undertake. It is common for the developer to wait for the conclusion of the legal process," Rudolph said.
The Galt Citizens for Sensible Planning filed a suit last year against the retailer's proposed project at Twin Cities Road and Fermoy Way. The group, made up of at least nine citizens live around the project, banded together to protest the Walmart at that location.
The group pointed out nine reasons why they felt the environmental impact analysis did not meet state standards, including the studies of noise levels, air pollution and urban decay.
The judge dismissed all of the complaints, except for two minor problems with the noise and the air quality analysis.
In his ruling, Frawley required the city to do another study on whether forklift back-up beepers meet sound requirements. The new report will probably take 120 days and could lead to additional requirements for the retailer, Rudolph said.
Frawley also required Walmart use forklifts made after 2010 as opposed to older models because of air quality concerns.
William Kopper, an attorney for Galt Citizens for Sensible Planning, and group members Rich Vaira and Frank Oliver did not return calls for comment.