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City OK's Rocklin Crossing project

Wal-Mart, Home depot could now be coming to Rocklin
By: Jon Brines, Placer Herald Corrspondent
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The deal has been nine years in the making, but the Rocklin City Council finally approved plans for the Rocklin Crossing retail project on land next to the Interstate 80 and Sierra College Boulevard Interchange. Some area residents, who attended Tuesday night’s City Council meeting, voiced their opposition to the project that could bring Wal-Mart, Home Depot and 485,000-square-feet of commercial/retail space to Rocklin’s border with Loomis. “I want to fight for what’s right. We don’t want to be defecated on as neighbors,” Loomis resident Dan Foster told council members. “This project is going to affect my quality of life.” Foster, who lives a couple hundred feet from the proposed project on the Loomis side of the border, complained the retail center would affect the Salmon habitat in Secret Ravine, create light pollution and lead to urban decay. “The idling trucks that do the deliveries 24/7, seven days of the week is going to pollute my kids’ lungs. One of them (already) has trouble breathing,” said the Dias Lane resident. “This project is right in my back yard.” Attorney Kieth Wagner, who represents Rocklin Residents for Reasonable Growth, a coalition of concerned residents, told the council there is a problem with the Environmental Impact Report. “Why would you certify an EIR that you know the facts are wrong and incorrect,” Wagner said. “Please send this EIR back for review.” In 2007, Wagner’s group and the Town of Loomis sued Rocklin over the EIR. A judge ordered changes earlier last year. The project came up for approval after the changes were made. “Bottom line, Roseville is hurting and there are a lot of vacancies. This project will take customers away from those stores and lead to urban decay,” Wagner said. Penryn resident Gary Cheris told the council he wants to shop at this location instead of going into Roseville. “I kind of like the project. It’s going to cut our drive time in half,” Cheris said. “A company like Wal-Mart or Home Depot does their homework and they’re not going to move into an area where people don’t want to use their store.” After listening to public comments, the council voted unanimously to approve the project. “This is a positive, well-thought out project that will serve the community and the surrounding ones as well,” Council member Diana Ruslin said. “The final EIR reflects my independent judgments.” After the meeting Foster said he was disappointed with the council’s decision. “I’m not an attorney, I’m a dad with three kids who lives in Loomis that’s greatly affected negatively by this,” Foster said. “Where are all the Rocklin residents? They’re going to go over to Highway 65 and go to that Wal-Mart, not this one. It’s all about the all-mighty dollar.” Mark Pearlberger, who represents the developer Donahue Schriber, said the market will decide when or if any store would start construction. “We’re very happy with the city’s support,” Pearlberger said. Pearlberger said he couldn’t guarantee a big box store would even go into the proposed site. “We can’t be certain of our tenants given how long this has taken, but we still have a lot of support from Home Depot and Wal-Mart,” Pearlberger said. Pearlberger said a Placer County judge still has to sign off on the final report before construction can start.