Auburn group's Wal-Mart appeal remains in legal limbo

By: Journal Staff Report
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A neighborhood group opposing a Wal-Mart on one of the last large undeveloped properties along Highway 49 is continuing with its appeal process challenging a judge’s decision. The Alliance for the Protection of the Auburn Community filed its notice of appeal with the Placer Superior Court in April to move ahead with a challenge of Judge Charles Wachob’s ruling in February that the group was late in filing its suit against Bohemia Properties, the Wal-Mart site’s former owner. The case has been in legal limbo since then. The group also is known by its APACE initials. Victoria Connolly, an APACE member, said Thursday that the group is still waiting for confirmation on the Court of Appeal’s receipt of documentation from Placer’s superior court. Connolly said that could come as early as this month. Wal-Mart, which bought the 18-acre site near Luther Road and Highway 49 in January, has set up a website for the Auburn store that touts the sales tax revenue and an estimated 300 new jobs it will bring to the area. But a Placer County Building Division check found no moves by the corporation to start the early construction process and no indications on its website that it has started hiring employees. APACE is challenging the Placer County Board of Supervisors’ approval of environmental documentation in development approvals the group contends is incomplete. Connolly said that health, safety and quality of life are inadequately addressed and families in neighborhoods adjacent to the development will be particularly impacted negatively. “A Wal-Mart will have a dramatic impact on our community and local businesses,” Connolly said. Wal-Mart’s media division was unable to be reached for a comment Thursday. The appeal APACE is now involved in is based on initial court documents challenging the Board of Supervisors decision that the group contends arrived five minutes too late to be filed at the Roseville court by a process server. Wachob ruled that the filing was late “regardless of the excuse offered by the petitioners for their failure to meet the statutory deadline for filing.” – Gus Thomson