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Court of appeal rules in favor of a Wal-Mart in Atascadero 

Wal-Mart is one step closer to breaking ground in Atascadero.

Atascadero officials announced July 9 that the Second Appellate District Court of Appeal ruled in favor of the city in a lawsuit brought by Save Atascadero, a citizen group opposing Wal-Mart. The lawsuit was part of a saga that began nearly a decade ago when the store announced its interest in opening a location in the north end of Atascadero at the El Camino Real and Del Rio Road intersection.

The announcement set off a campaign from citizens critical of the store and its business practices. The challenges eventually took the form of a lawsuit over the Environmental Impact Report, in which Save Atascadero contended that the report did not require sufficient mitigation from the project’s developers to address significant traffic impacts and road improvements necessary for the store’s construction. The group appealed after San Luis Obispo County Superior Court Judge Jac Crawford ruled in favor of the city.

In a news release, Mayor Tom O’Malley expressed his appreciation for the decision and said the “city looks forward with great anticipation to this project now proceeding to completion.”

According to Atascadero’s press release, Save Atascadero has until Aug. 18 to file a petition for review with the California Supreme Court.

A representative for Save Atascadero was not immediately available for comment.

-- Melody DeMeritt - former city council member, Morro Bay

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