Tehachapi council denies appeal stopping Wal-Mart Superstore construction

City Council voted 5-0

TEHACHAPI, Calif. - The Tehachapi City Council has denied an appeal that would have stopped construction of a Wal-Mart superstore.

The council voted 5-0 Wednesday to deny the appeal from the Tehachapi First, an environmental group who opposed the construction of the Wal-Mart.

City attorney council members as well as Mayor Philip Smith met in front of more than 100 concerned citizens.

The public was given three minutes to speak their mind about the matter.

"I go to Lancaster or Bakersfield just for Wal-Mart," a woman said.

A man voiced his opposition to the project.

"When it takes 20-30 minutes to go ten miles, then you'll see this is a bad idea," he said.

The planning committee originally brought up the plan to build the Wal-Mart in January 2011, but the plan was appealed to Tehachapi City Council in May of that year. The appeal was denied. Tehachapi First then filed a lawsuit against the city the following month.

Judge Kenneth C. Twissleman revised the EIR and filed three topics that found deficiencies: traffic, water and noise.

Tehachapi First worked for a couple of years to revise the EIR and brought the case back to the planning commission this past December. The planning commission finally approved the EIR.

Not two weeks later, Tehachapi First filed an appeal again because they were dissatisfied with the EIR.

Now that city council has denied the appeal, the decision will be left to Judge Twissleman who will then approve or deny the EIR, which will ultimately decide the fate of the Wal-Mart Superstore. 

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