A 30-acre commercial development in south Lodi that stalled during the economic downturn is moving forward.
According to the plans, the new development will include five offices and commercial retail space at the southwest corner of Harney Lane and West Lane.
The plans show five new office buildings that take up a total of 179,200 square feet, including a medical office with a laboratory. The plans also include 103,350 square feet of commercial space, including a bank and restaurant, that are labeled for future growth.
Developer Michael Carouba resubmitted the plans, and the city has already received public comment from various state agencies and Citizens for Open Government.
One of the groups that opposed Walmart submitted a letter saying the city needs to do more studies on the potential effect of the project on the environment.
In the letter, attorney Osha Meserve with Soluri Meserve Law Corporation takes issue with the city's studies on traffic, greenhouse gases and air quality.
"(Citizens for Open Government) is concerned that the South Hutchins Annexation Project ... is yet another significant incursion into the undeveloped land between the city and Stockton," the letter states.
The 30 acres of farmland is not in the city's boundaries, but is included in the sphere of influence. When the city drafted its General Plan, it selected that area as a commercial site for possible development.
The next step for the project is to go before the Planning Commission, said Kari Chadwick, an administrative secretary in community development. If it is approved there, it will go to the Lodi City Council.
After that, it will also have to go to the San Joaquin County Local Agency Formation Commission because the city is annexing the property, Chadwick said.
Even though the plans have been re-submitted, Carouba said not much else is happening.
"We had an application when things were more robust," Carouba said. "And we picked up the application again with the intention of continuing. It's basically the same layout."
Although Citizens for Open Government has spoken out against the proposed development, Carouba said he had no comment and is glad citizens are getting a chance to express themselves during the process.
There are no retailers yet named for the development.
Mayor Bob Johnson said the new center will provide more opportunities for Lodi.
"Anytime you can get a complex of that size and scope it will be a benefit to the community," Johnson said.
He said his response about the Citizens for Open Government complaint is the same as when they complained about the Walmart Supercenter at Kettleman Lane and Lower Sacramento Road.
"They've got an opportunity through the system to file whatever complaints or actions they feel are appropriate," Johnson said.
When asked what new restaurant he would like to go into the center, he said the main thing he has heard from residents is that they want a specific grocery store.
"To placate the housewives of the community, rather than a restaurant, let's have a restaurant and a Trader Joe's," Johnson said.
Contact reporter Jordan Guinn at firstname.lastname@example.org.