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Judge's Order Halts Construction On Burbank Walmart

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A judge's order today will halt construction at Burbank Walmart, while a case alleging the city violated environmental regulations by approving the project goes forward.

Judge Robert O'Brien issued a preliminary injunction and wrote that the public "will be harmed if the activity allowed by the permits were to go forward now..." according to City News Service.

Opponents charged that the Walmart at the site of a former Sears The Great Indoors store in the Empire Center in Burbank would violate a zoning law banning grocery stores in the center. They also said the location doesn't have enough parking, and the city hasn't done enough to mitigate traffic congestion concerns in the area.

Opponents said Walmart needed to conduct a study reviewing the store's impacts on traffic, crime and job loss under the California Environmental Quality Act. Walmart and city officials disagreed.

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Walmart spokeswoman Rachel Wall told CNS that the superstore felt unfairly singled out with this latest ruling: "We're disappointed in today's ruling because the building permits issued to Walmart are no different than the 1,300 other building permits that have been issued over the past 12 years to construct the entire Empire Center. This shortsighted ruling will only delay us from delivering much needed jobs in the construction and retail industry, needed tax revenue, and an opportunity for residents to have more affordable shopping options in their community. We are reviewing our options to challenge this decision."

Burbank resident Shanna Ingalsbee, an opponent of the superstore, told CNS she was pleased with the decision: "We're happy we can shine a light on Walmart's actions and the need to follow the development rules in our community."

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