Planning Commission To Hear WalMart Proposal March 15

WalmartBy Michael Armijo

Eastvale – The long awaited Walmart project is finally being heard by the Eastvale Planning Commission at a public hearing next Wednesday, March 15, at Rosa Parks Elementary School, located at 13830 Whispering Hills Drive, Eastvale, 92880.

The meeting will commence at 6 pm and residents will have the opportunity to voice their opinion or comments at the public hearing, to consider the development of the new retail center with a Walmart Store on an approximately 24.68-acre site – Project No. 12-0051. The project site is located at the southeast corner of Limonite Avenue and Archibald, which borders the cities of Ontario and Chino.

All comments made in writing or via e-mail prior to the public hearing must be submitted and received by the City of Eastvale City Clerk no later than Wednesday, March 15, 2017 at 5:00 p.m. Oral and written comments may be submitted directly to the Planning Commission at the public hearing.

The proposed project includes the following entitlement applications for consideration and recommendation to City Council:

 

  • Environmental Impact Report (EIR) (SCH #2015011020) for the project pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)
  • General Plan amendment to change the land use designation for the eastern half of the project site from Light Industrial to Commercial retail.
  • Change of Zone to change the zoning for the eastern half of the project site from Manufacturing-Service Commercial to General Commercial.
  • Tentative Tract Map No. 35061 for the subdivision of approximately 24.68 acres into five commercial parcels and one water detention basin parcel.
  • Major Development Review for the development of an approximately 192,000-square-foot Walmart store and associated improvements within the retail center.
  • Variance from the parking lot landscaping and shading requirements of the Zoning Code for a portion of the parking lot in front of Walmart.
  • Conditional Use Permit to operate a drive-through pharmacy for Walmart.
  • Conditional Use Permit to allow alcohol sales in Walmart.
  • Conditional Use Permit to allow alcohol sales in a future gasoline service station in the retail center.
  • Two Conditional Use Permits to allow two drive-through facilities on two parcels in the retail center.

 

The project, which was proposed in 2011 by Walmart, will be a 177,000 square foot Super Walmart (open 24-hours), and a “Green Store”, with part of their environmental plan directed to boost energy efficiency, cut down on waste, and reduce greenhouse gases tied to global warming.  This store, which was considered a nationwide “pilot store”, will anchor the lot with other tenants still to be determined.

The widening of Limonite and Archibald, part of the plan to accommodate the higher amount of already congested traffic, affects the proximity of electrical towers that occupy the 40-acre property. These two towers, bordering Archibald Avenue and Limonite Avenue, created a liability issue, according to online reports. Moving the estimated 120-foot towers cost about $1 million, the report said.

 

“This could bring over $1 million in sales tax revenue to the city,” said then Mayor Ike Bootsma in an interview last year. “Residents will have an opportunity to review plans and offer opinions at City Council meetings before the project breaks ground.”

Though Walmart and Sam’s Club regularly build in close proximity of each other, the city said this location will be strictly a Walmart.

The City of Eastvale has completed an EIR for the proposed project in accordance with CEQA to assess the potential for any significant environmental impacts associated with the proposed project. The draft EIR was released for public and agency review on October 3, 2016, with the 45-day review period ending on November 17, 2016.  The Planning Commission will review the EIR and provide a recommendation to the City Council for consideration prior to making a decision on the project.

The EIR recommends the adoption of various mitigation measures that, with three exceptions, reduce the project’s environmental impacts to a less than significant level as required under CEQA. The EIR identifies three (3) environmental impacts that cannot be reduced to a less than significant level: air quality, noise, and transportation.  Because of these significant and unavoidable impacts, a Statement of Overriding Considerations must be adopted by the City Council prior to any decision to approve the project.

Any person may submit written comments prior to the public hearing or may appear in person before the Planning Commission to be heard. Written comments may be mailed to the City of Eastvale City Clerk located at 12363 Limonite Avenue, Suite 910, Eastvale, CA 91752. Any questions on the project may be directed to Eric Norris at (530) 574-4875 or via e‑mail at enorris@eastvaleca.gov.