Judge sides with Walmart

Environmental review was sufficient, he rules

After nearly a year since a petition was filed to halt expansion of Chico’s Walmart on Forest Avenue, Butte County Superior Court Judge Stephen Benson shot it down.

In December 2016, lawyers for Chico Advocates for a Responsible Economy (CARE) filed a lawsuit against the city of Chico and Walmart arguing the environmental impact report had not adequately considered certain impacts, in particular urban decay caused by similar retail stores closing. Last week (Nov. 30), Benson ruled that the EIR was, in fact, adequate.

CARE formed over a decade ago to oppose previous plans to turn the existing Walmart into a supercenter and to build a second store in north Chico. Those efforts were successful. The group could choose to appeal last week’s ruling.