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Judge blocks Wal-Mart plan in Burbank

September 04, 2013|By Daniel Siegal
  • Grocery items in a cart at a Wal-Mart store. A judge ruled Wednesday that Burbank must rescind building permits it issued to Wal-Mart for a store in the Empire Center.
Grocery items in a cart at a Wal-Mart store. A judge ruled Wednesday that… (Andrew Harrer / Bloomberg )

Citing street improvements more than a dozen years overdue and a flawed environmental impact report, a judge ruled Wednesday that Burbank must rescind building permits it issued to Wal-Mart to open a store in the Empire Center.

“The city has proceeded in a manner not authorized by law, failed to conduct any environmental assessment when the facts and circumstances clearly require at least an initial inquiry,” Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Allan J. Goodman stated in his ruling.

Regarding the street improvements, Goodman ruled that “the city has violated its obligations to complete the [traffic] mitigation measures for the specified roadways by the time of completion” of the Empire Center, which opened in 2001.

An injunction issued by another judge that had prevented Wal-Mart from starting work on a new store was lifted in June. However, Wal-Mart officials said they didn’t want to start renovation of the former Great Indoors store until the outcome of the trial.

The lawsuit was filed by Burbank residents  Shanna Ingalsbee, Katherine Olson and Yvette Ziraldo in an effort to block the opening of the store until street improvements outlined in an ordinance approved by Burbank City Council ware completed and another environmental impact review is conducted, according to the Burbank Leader.

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Siegal writes for Times Community News.

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