Walmart decision punted

City Planning Commission forced to continue hearing

So many people showed up for the Chico Planning Commission’s Walmart expansion hearing last Thursday (July 16) that not everyone who wanted to do so got to speak, so the hearing was continued until tonight (Thursday, July 23). at 6:30 in City Council chambers.

Walmart wants to expand its Forest Avenue store into a “supercenter” by adding a grocery component and garden center. It seeks to expand the existing 126,000-square-foot space by 82,500 square feet.

City Senior Planner Zach Thomas said staff recommended approval of the project, saying it was consistent with the general plan and had passed muster with the Architectural Review Board.

Heather Schlaff, representing the group Chico Advocates for a Responsible Economy (CARE), insisted the new grocery store was unnecessary, given the presence of WinCo, Food Maxx and Costco in the immediate area.

The CEO of the Chico Chamber of Commerce, Jolene Francis (pictured), responded that it was not the responsibility of the Planning Commission to decide on such economic matters.