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Elk Grove Neighborhood Association Beat City of Elk Grove, Wal-Mart in First Round

This afternoon Friends of Madeira (FOM) scored a first round victory in their battle with the City of Elk Grove and retailing behemoth Wal-Mart over plans for a new store on Bruceville Road in Elk Grove.

Wal-Mart's motion to have the complaint filed by FOM against the city dismissed was denied.

Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Lloyd G. Connelly said he had a "huge issue" with the lack of notice to respondents regarding the status of the project. Apparently FOM had asked the city for information regarding the project and the city said either there was nothing to report or did not respond to requests.

During the hearing it was revealed that city planning director Don Hazen had determined "substantial compliance" for the project but that determination was never noticed.

Much of Wal-Mart's and Elk Grove's argument for dismissal had been that FOM's complaint had not been filed within the 90 day statutory limit.

Another issue addressed during the hearing was what guidelines are used to determine if one project is substantially compliant with another. In this instance, the proposed development site had been approved for a larger Target store but when they withdrew from the site, Wal-Mart proposed a smaller store using the same approvals originally granted to Target while not taking into consideration the entire site.

Connelly overruled Wal-Marts motion for dismissal on this as well as citing non-compliance with CEQA laws in his decision.

No future date has been set, but in discussing the matter with attorney's involved with the case, the court clerk said Connelly's schedule was booked through May and the next available slot would be in late May or July.

Elk Grove city officials did not respond to requests seeking comment on the matter.

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