Then there was one

The news that Wal-Mart has dropped its plan to build a “supercenter” in north Chico (see Downstroke) is certain to have an impact on future discussions of its plan to supersize its existing Forest Avenue store. And, since those discussions begin in earnest on April 3, when the city Planning Commission takes up Wal-Mart’s proposal, it’s not hard to image both opponents and proponents busily recalibrating their arguments.

The slow economy, and especially the housing slump, is hitting Wal-Mart hard, and last summer the company decided to grow more slowly and invest more in existing stores. Complicating the picture locally is the probability that Wal-Mart will back out of its proposed Paradise Gateway supercenter should the Chico project go through.

Whether south Chico needs another discount market is debatable. We’re just happy that’s now the extent of the debate.