Read the latest thoughts on the Walmart expansion by Mayor Randy Voepel:
Well, it’s official- the proposed has and is now on its way back to health- which is good news to many, and terrible news to many others.
The city’s Development Department held what’s called a “scoping” meeting at Wednesday night, to show people the drawings and preliminary plans for what the expanded store will look like.
A number of people showed up to take a look, and there was some surprise at what they saw.
The actual footprint of the store building itself wouldn’t change that much- where it will be seen most easily is in the relocation of the garden store to the other side of the building, and the demise of the the tire and lube department altogether.
What will change, if this goes through as proposed, is that vacant lot to the south of the garden shop and the tire and lube center (see photo).
That will become a new, 945-space parking lot to service the expected increase in customers when opens its full service grocery department.
That parking lot is among the many things Bruce and Carol Stacy vow to stop, no matter what it takes.
“It’s not just the noise from the trucks, although that’s bad enough- that parking lot will be operating 24 hours a day, just like the trucks will be. The .” Bruce says.
He would know.
He and Carol live just over the wall from the current loading dock area in the back of the store, at the corner of Willow Grove Avenue and Willow Grove Place.
They, and a good-sized number of their neighbors have been putting up with the noise since the store opened.
I’ve been over in that neighborhood a couple of times, listening- and the racket is nearly unbearable.
It’s going to get worse if the expansion happens, because there will be more trucks coming in to unload all the items needed to operate a full-on grocery store- a store that will be open 24/7.
The loading docks are set to be moved to another location along the west, or back, side of the store, which will make the noise even worse for the people along Willow Grove Place.
For truck access to the loading docks, the roadway from Mission Gorge Road that runs along the east side of will .
and of the came to the scoping meeting to take a look at the plans, and both pronounced themselves happy with the concept.
I asked Savage about possible opposition to the plans, but Savage wasn’t worried.
“It will happen... I wouldn’t worry too much," he said.
That may or may not be the case.
I know has often expressed frustration at the process, and the possibility of the expansion- he told me that again just last Monday.
“We should never have built that store where we did,” Dale said.
That’s true- a lot of trouble would have been saved if the back of the store, and the noisy loading docks, had been built along the line of the San Diego River, but hindsight is always 20-20, isn’t it?
Associate City Planner Angela Reeder is the person in charge of the process now begun.
“We’ll probably draft environmental impact report ready after the first of the year," she said. "It’ll then go through the public review process for 45 days, as the law calls for. After that, we’ll have to see what happens.”
Yes, we will- and right now, no one is predicting what will happen.