The Loop Newspaper - Tehachapi's Online Community News & Entertainment Guide

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Latest news on Wal-Mart


Nick Smirnoff (NPPA)

Keli Osaki representing Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., confers with Patrick Carrick representing the City of Tehachapi at the hearing on April 24.

Pending an appeal by the group Tehachapi First, Wal-Mart will be coming to Tehachapi. On April 24, at a 9 a.m. hearing in Kern County Superior Court in Bakersfield, Judge Kenneth C. Twizzelman found that the City of Tehachapi had done their due diligence in complying with the request of Tehachapi First attorney Mark Wolfe for an amended Environmental Impact Report. In the courtroom, with Wolfe and representing the City of Tehachapi, was Patrick Carrick as lead counsel, and Keli Osaki representing Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

Wolfe thanked the city for the new report stating it was a much better document but still had issues with the cumulative noise impact section. He said that the city consultant had used an incorrect formula for measuring noise impact and the consultant for Tehachapi First had used the correct formula. Judge Twizzelman disagreed. He said that it was a matter of differences of process between experts and not a reason to overturn his decision. Part of the differences in the equations used was whether the hotels on Tehachapi Blvd. would be classified as commercial or residential. The result was found to be negligible. The judge said that the city did respond in good faith to the hotel question.

In his final statement, Judge Twizzelman said that the city consultant had responded appropriately and that his opinion is supported by the evidence. With that he discharged the Writ of Mandate. He then apologized to the court for missing the original March 27 hearing, but he had pneumonia and was unable to work.

Nick Smirnoff (NPPA)

Tehachapi Director of Community Development, David James, who appeared for the city at the proceedings, and attorney Carrick, told The Loop that Tehachapi First has the right to appeal the decision within 60 days.

Several Tehachapi residents also attended the proceedings. Doreen Harvey and Pat Storms said that they had been there to support the project almost every time. "We're getting older," said Storms, "It's getting harder to get off the hill." She also feels that Wal-Mart will bring jobs. Jerry Pittenger is also in favor but hopes that Wal-Mart will put their merchandise storage units off site.


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