1 January 2005 – by Paul Shigley
An appellate court has overturned separate environmental impact reports and project approvals for two Bakersfield shopping centers with Wal-Mart supercenters as anchors. The court ruled that the city must address the potential for the projects to cause urban decay, consider the combined impacts of the two shopping centers, and correlate the projects’ air quality impacts to effects on human respiratory health.
The published opinion – the first regarding a Wal-Mart supercenter – appears to be a home run for Wal-Mart opponents, who are making similar arguments in numerous locations.
Attorney Steven Herum, who represented a group of project opponents called Bakersfield Citizens for Local Control, said the court “correctly identifies the fact that Wal-Mart supercenters have unique impacts and that the EIR is going to have to reflect this.”
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