Grading at Walnut Grove and Rush--But Don't Panic!

The big ole eucalyptus trees in the field south of Eldridge Rice School [I refuse to call it "the Wal-Mart site"] have been felled. Folks in hard hats were on site, and grading has begun.

But don't panic. Wal-Mart owns the land, and they do have a permit to grade. However, Judge Yaffe has not yet signed off on the revised EIR. So, until that litigation is fully resolved, what ever work Wal-Mart undertakes in the field south of Eldridge Rice School is at their own risk. Let's hope they spend a wad of money and then get shut down.

Still the subject of litigation

Knowing that SOC had already appealed his earlier decision, Judge Yaffe took the unusual step of "approving" the revised EIR without hearing oral argument.

This is not as bad as it sounds however. Basically, Yaffe doesn't want to spend time deliberating on a case until after he has received further guidance from an appellate court.

So the earlier post stands: The grading now occuring at Delta and Rush Streets is mainly an effort by Wal-Mart to demoralize its opponents. But it is no guarantee that they will ever be able to build a store, never mind open it. Apparently, there is a completed big box in Bakersfield where Wal-Mart went ahead and constructed a store without final approval. It's been sitting empty for over a year, with no opening date in sight.

And, if you guys at Delta and Rush needed any additional incentive to fight this thing, just take a look at the "screen" they've constructed along Delta. The EIR envisions a wall of similar height running parallel to that screen. It would be set perhaps another ten feet or so further away from the street, but you get the idea. What an eyesore!


That thing gets me steamed.

Okay, Perhaps it is cause for concern

Being the world's largest retailor, and having all their legal and political resources at their beck and call is not enough.  Wal-Mart still needs to play dirty.  They've gotten a permit to erect a portion of their building.

Normally, the building permit does not come until you're ready to being work on the full structure.  Obviously, at Delta and Rush Street, they're not there, yet.  But part of the land was already relatively flat and compacted.  So they have gotten a permit to begin erecting the far southern portion of their building even while the vast majority of their property is still being excavated.  Over most of their parcel, they've still got to haul out the dirt, then compact the surface, then bring back in additional dirt, compact that, etc., etc., before they'll be ready to build.

But because they know time is running out on their control of Rosemead City Council, they've gotten Rosemead's building and planning departments to do something they have apparently never done before.

Fortunately for us, getting a permit to build on a portion of their property does not guarantee them the right to finish their building, should the composition of the city council change.

Keep fighting.  Keep writing.  Keep phoning.  We need to get our election back from Wal-Mart purgatory.  And, in the meantime, others are pursuing litigation to stop this highly unusual course of action.