Walmart expansion approved

Plans include new gas station and more retail space

The plan to expand Chico’s Walmart was approved by the Chico Planning Commission on Thursday, Oct. 6.

The panel voted 5-2 to greenlight the project, which will add up to 66,500 square feet to the big box’s Forest Avenue location—most of it grocery—as well as an eight-pump gas station, convenience store and two separate parcels totaling 52,000 additional square feet of commercial/retail space in the parking lot.

The company can start submitting building permits and plans to alter nearby streets to mitigate projected increases in traffic, said Mike Sawley of the city’s Community Development Department. Unless, however, somebody appeals the commission’s decision by 5 p.m. Oct. 17—in which case the project would go before the Chico City Council.

The city rejected a similar expansion plan in 2009.