Future of proposed Walmart unknown (February 5, 2015 )

APPLE VALLEY — A superior court ruling that found the town’s Measure D illegal either honors the state constitution or denies residents affordable shopping and jobs, depending on whom you ask.

Approved by voters in November 2013, the measure that authorized construction of a Wal-Mart Supercenter at the southeast corner of Dale Evans Parkway and Thunderbird Road also was discussed by the Town Council that summer without proper notice, the ruling found.

San Diego attorney Cory Briggs, who filed the complaint on behalf of resident Gabriel Hernandez, said his client was gratified by the Tuesday decision.

I don’t know what’s going to happen, Briggs said. All he wanted was for the constitution to be honored, the open-meeting laws to be honored. He’s gratified.

Wal-Mart officials disagreed with the ruling.

We’re disappointed with the court’s ruling and respectfully disagree with the court’s legal analysis and conclusions, Wal-Mart’s director of communications, Delia Garcia, wrote in an email. The citizens of Apple Valley voted in favor of this store and deserve to have affordable shopping options in their neighborhood. We believe the will of the voters should be honored and will consider all available legal options going forward.

The town joined Wal-Mart in filing an opposition paper to the request for a ruling against the legality of Measure D that was based on ballot language referring to a private corporation. The court said the Aug. 13, 2013 Town Council meeting included the note, Provide direction to staff, but it was found the council approved three resolutions about Measure D. Town attorneys said it was appropriate only for Wal-Mart to comment, according to Apple Valley spokeswoman Kathie Martin. Citizens voted for the store because they want affordable shopping options in their community, Wal-Mart officials said in a statement.

Our customers want to save time and money and the Supercenter is uniquely positioned to meet their needs by providing the convenience of one-stop shopping for general merchandise, groceries and pharmacy services. … Additionally, a new store would mean new jobs in the community as well as an opportunity for our local California grocery and produce suppliers to grow their business.

Apple Valley is home to a Wal-Mart distribution center in the north of town and a retail store on Highway 18, a few blocks southwest of the proposed Supercenter. The current store would be closed if the new, bigger store is constructed.

Source: Daily Press