Sonora, CA — For the time being the Lowe´s Home Improvement project is on hold but still very much alive.
The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in Fresno issued its 49 page writ this afternoon ruling that the city, California Gold Development Corporation and Lowe´s must combine the realignment of the Old Wards Ferry Rd. railroad crossing and the construction of the store as a single project.
Earlier the Tuolumne County Superior Court had ruled that the projects did not have to be combined as one.
The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled there was no basis to any of the environmental concerns set forth in the appeal by the Tuolumne County Citizens For Responsible Growth. The court added that the city, California Gold Development Corporation and Lowe´s would not have to file an Environmental Impact Report.
The three parties plus their attorneys will now determine the most expedient manner in which to meet the guidelines established by the Fresno court.
City Administrator Greg Applegate admitted that he was disappointed in today´s decision but stated that the Lowe´s project remains the “right” project for the city and the county.
California Gold´s Scot Patterson echoed the disappointment he shares with his partners Ron Woodall, Mike Jones and Jim Todd, but stated that “our organization in conjunction with the city will not be deterred in our efforts to bring a Lowe´s store to Sonora.”
Lisa Vaughn of the Tuolumne County Citizens For Responsible Growth stated that she would not be available for comment until after five o´clock this evening.
Written by Bill Johnson