Déjà vu on the Ridge

Studies on Walmart’s plan to build a Ridge shopping center are under way

“The process is really starting all over.”

That was the word from Paradise Town Manager Chuck Rough this week when asked for an update on the longstanding and highly controversial plan to construct a retail center at the entrance to Paradise.

Rough said that after several iterations of a project application from Walmart over the past year, the town’s Planning Department has deemed the document from the big-box store sufficient for the town to move forward with the necessary studies, including environmental and economic analysis.

If that sounds familiar, it’s because Sacramento-based FHK Companies started plans to develop the so-called “gateway” back in 1999. Walmart now owns the property and is planning to develop an area between the east- and west-bound lanes of The Skyway. The new plan is scaled back. It does not include a hotel, for example.

Rough said town-hired consultants (paid for by Walmart) are just now starting work on an environmental-impact report. Public hearings will follow completion of the analysis.