City Council members in Galt approved minor changes to the Walmart site plan Tuesday, clearing the way for construction to begin in the new year. The modifications were required under a settlement agreement also approved at Tuesday’s meeting.
“Thank you for all the years you’ve spent dealing with this,” resident Al Baldwin said in addressing the City Council. “We’re now 90 days away. If it were me, I’d be making an announcement that Walmart’s on it's way.”
In 2007, Walmart proposed building a 133,000-square-foot store at the undeveloped corner of Twin Cities Road and Fermoy Way. The City Council originally approved the project in April 2010.
However, the project was met with opposition and ultimately litigation by a community group who filed a lawsuit last year, a month after the council approved the original plan.
Under the settlement, Galt Citizens for Sensible Planning will dismiss its lawsuit if the city agrees to outside noise monitoring twice during the first year of Walmart’s operation.
The group has voiced concerns over possible noise from forklifts operating at the store.
Additionally, the building will be set back an additional 15 feet from adjacent residences to the south and east.
Tuesday’s modifications were the result of a court-ordered mediation session with Galt Citizens for Sensible Planning. It was held last week.
City staff have said they are pleased the parties were able to work out a settlement agreement. Walmart will not only create new shopping opportunities for residents who now have to travel to Elk Grove or Lodi to purchase basic items such as socks, but also provide jobs, Mayor Barbara Payne said earlier this week.
Baldwin said the store will help bring character into Galt.
Another resident said he was anxious to keep tax dollars in Galt instead of taking them to San Joaquin County when he shops at Lodi’s Walmart.
Contact reporter Jennifer Bonnett at firstname.lastname@example.org.