Sonora, CA — The City of Sonora expects to hear a ruling later this summer from the California Supreme Court regarding the proposed Walmart expansion.
Sonora City Administrator Tim Miller says the Supreme Court recently heard oral arguments from the attorneys involved in the case. The major debate stems over how the project was approved. Supporters of the Walmart expansion had gathered enough signatures to put the project on the ballot for voters to decide whether it should go forward. Rather than put it on the ballot, the City Council decided to go ahead and simply approve it. The belief was that the signatures collected, through the initiative process, legally eliminated some of the environmental steps required.
“Each side was allowed about 15 minutes for a presentation,” said City Administrator Miller of the Supreme Court oral arguments. “The issue they are debating is whether an environmental review should have been conducted for the initiative. There are opposing appellate court decisions, and the Supreme Court is going to have to make a decision on that issue. We expect a decision from them within about the next 60 days.”
Walmart plans to expand its existing Sonora store so that it can sell more groceries, but the project has been held up in court ever since it was approved by the city back in October of 2010.