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Town settles for $231K

Money to be used for road improvements; other concessions made
By: Joyia Emard, Loomis News Staff Writer
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Loomis has settled its lawsuit with the Rocklin Crossings developers for $231,491. Perry Beck, Loomis town manager, said the parties came to an agreement on Sept. 17 and money will be used for road impact improvements at Sierra College Boulevard and Tay-lor Road. Rocklin Crossing is located at Interstate-80 and Sierra College Boulevard and plans are to include a Wal-Mart and Home Depot. In addition to the road improvement funds, the parties agreed to a number of other con-cessions that includes meeting with Loomis officials if the project is revised. The town will be allowed to have a three feet by four feet display case on a prominent wall at the center to promote community events. The town may also use the Rocklin Crossings parking lot for offsite event parking and Wal-Mart agreed to join the Loomis Chamber of Commerce and will participate in a “Buy Local” campaign. Parking lot lighting will also be modified so that light poles will be two feet shorter. Gary Liss, Loomis mayor, said the Rocklin Crossings lawsuit was part of an “overall litigation strategy” that included a number of legal suits against Rocklin projects being planned along the Loomis border. He said the town was not expecting to win all of the suits. “We knew, based on how the litigation was going, that the developments weren’t going away,” Liss said. “We realized we couldn’t get them to back off a 24/7 Wal-Mart and getting the light poles shortened was the best we could do,” Liss said. “We didn’t want to litigate. Rocklin was not addressing the impacts of all of this devel-opment on Loomis. This was our last resort,” Liss said. Liss said one million square feet of retail space is proposed in Rocklin along Sierra College Boulevard. “Traffic impacts hadn’t been addressed. We want to talk to them first while the projects are in the planning phase. “Since the lawsuits were filed, Rocklin officials are meeting with us on a regular basis and are listening to issues we're raising and working to respond to them,” Liss said. Beck said he, Liss and councilman Walt Scherer represent the town on the border com-mittee that now meets regularly with Rocklin. Residents of Dias Lane, a road that sits on the Loomis and Rocklin border, had a mixed response to the settlement agreement. Janet Cokeley, who lives on Dias Lane, said she thinks the town did “pretty well” in the settlement. She is still concerned about emergency vehicle access from her street to the Wal-Mart development. “Our road couldn’t take any more traffic,” Cokeley said. She also said Rocklin has still not addressed the cumulative impact of all of their devel-opment. “Their comment is only on an individual project. When you put them all together it makes a huge impact,” she said. Her neighbor Jayne Parker said she has lived on Dias Lane since the 1970s and thinks the agreement could have been “more beneficial” for Loomis. She called the development “devastating.” “It’s going to impact all of us,” Parker said. Of the accommodations made by the Rocklin Crossings developers, she said, “I’m amazed we got anything at all. How does one fight one of the largest businesses in the world?”