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Redlands Daily Facts: Walmart gets one-year extension for Redlands Crossing shopping center


REDLANDS >> City leaders have given Walmart Stores Inc. another year to resolve permitting issues and complete offsite improvements before building the Redlands Crossing shopping center.

It’s the third extension for the controversial project at the southeast corner of San Bernardino Avenue and Tennessee Street.

On Tuesday, the City Council granted a one-year extension for the project’s parcel map and conditional use permit. The extension provides Walmart officials additional time to resolve outstanding engineering and civil permitting issues as well as to obtain encroachment permits from the California Department of Transportation for roadway and infrastructure improvements.

“Over the last several years, the project has been bogged down by mitigations and prolonged negotiations with Caltrans regarding encroachment permits for off-site improvements,” Emily Elliott, senior planner with the city, told the council Tuesday.

In October 2012, the City Council approved the 256,614-square-foot commercial center, which will be anchored by a Walmart Supercenter.

State legislation automatically extended the parcel map’s expiration date to October 2016.

The Planning Commission granted the project a one-year extension, postponing the expiration date to October 2017, to give Walmart officials time to work with Caltrans on nearby traffic improvements.

State law allows cities to extend the life of maps for up to six years, which the city does in one-year increments.

With the extension granted Tuesday, both the map and conditional use permit are set to expire in October 2018.

According to Elliott, the parcel map must be finalized and offsite improvements need to be completed before a building permit can be issued.

The project is currently in plan check with the city, she said.

At the annual State of the City address June 9, Mayor Paul Foster announced the project would be breaking ground by the end of the year.

Walmart officials did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday.

Foster, however, said earlier that city staff have been working through a variety of costly development issues that have stood in the way of the project moving forward.

The project was also tied up due to litigation.

One month after the City Council’s approval in October 2012, the Redlands Good Neighbor Coalition filed a lawsuit against the city and Walmart over the project’s potential impact.

In July 2013, a San Bernardino County Superior Court judge ruled in favor of the city and Walmart.

The coalition appealed the ruling in the Fourth District Appellate Court, which was denied in April 2015.

The appellate court also denied an appeal filed in 2014 by For Accountability in Redlands, or FAIR. The group appealed a decision made earlier in 2014 by the same Superior Court judge rejecting their claims that the city’s approval violated requirements of Measure U, a “slow growth” initiative approved by voters in November 1997 to manage development in the city.

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