A citizens group that sued the city of Atascadero over its approval of a Wal-Mart has not contested an appellate court’s July ruling saying the city acted legally, the city announced Tuesday.
The legal battle over the shopping center has delayed its construction since the city approved the project in 2012.
A Wal-Mart spokeswoman wasn’t immediately available Tuesday to comment on when construction is now slated to begin.
The litigation began to wind down this summer when justices with the state's 2nd District Court of Appeal in Ventura ruled in favor of the city of Atascadero in a long-running dispute over local officials' approval of a Wal-Mart store and adjacent retail complex called The Annex.
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The citizens group, Save Atascadero, which has sought to stop the project so it can undergo further review in traffic and noise impacts, had until Aug. 18 to file a petition for review with the California Supreme Court.
“No such petition was filed and, therefore, the Court of Appeal decision will stand as the final court ruling. The Walmart/Annex project in Atascadero may now move forward,” the city’s announcement states.
“While obviously, Save Atascadero was disappointed with the Appeal Court's ruling, we do not plan to seek further legal remedy,” Save Atascadero spokesman Tom Comar said in an email to The Tribune when the appellate court’s ruling came in July.
The delay in construction during the litigation may impose new state construction requirements for the store to add rooftop solar panels, Comar said.
“We would hope that the city would go further and require incorporation and installation of photovoltaic panels,” he added.
Wal-Mart and The Annex include shopping, dining and housing at El Camino Real and Del Rio Road.
The City Council plans to discuss signing a statement regarding the Wal-Mart project at a special meeting planned for 8:30 a.m. Friday.
The statement will address the history of the project, its current status and “the importance of the project to Atascadero.”
A Wal-Mart store has long been touted as new source for jobs and sales tax revenue in Atascadero.