Although the Lodi City Council approved a project for a Walmart Supercenter at the corner of Lower Sacramento Road and Kettleman Lane in March, the project has not moved forward with obtaining permits because it has not received approval from a San Joaquin Superior Court judge.
The 340,000-square-foot project must obtain the court's approval because of a past court decision in which Judge Elizabeth Humphreys struck down the Walmart's initial environmental impact reports; now she must approve the revised report.
The groups Lodi First and Citizens for Open Government have sued over the proposed Supercenter.
Thursday, representatives from Walmart, Citizens for Open Government and Lodi First met in court to present their arguments.
Brett Jolley, an attorney representing Lodi First, said the issue of climate change, urban blight and groundwater usage were not taken into consideration by the environmental report and therefore it's invalid.
"Omitting information from the Environmental Impact Report is prejudicial," said Jolley.
Arthur Friedman, an attorney for Walmart, said the Environmental Impact Report is in line with context of the California Environmental Quality Act and has already been decided on.
Thursday's hearing is yet another chapter in Lodi's Walmart Supercenter saga that shows no sign of ending in the near future.
"She knows the issue and is very well prepared," said John Marshall, who was representing Citizens for Open Government, about Judge Humphreys' approach to the hearing. Marshall said it was important for both sides to offer their full arguments so she could take everything into consideration.
He said he wasn't expecting a decision at the end of the hearing and suggested no timeline of when one could be made.