More comparisons between Azusa mining issue and Rosemead Wal-Mart

While researching this story comparing a referendum in Azusa of Vulcan Materials Co.’s new amended mining plan versus Rosemead residents earlier failed attempt to stop a Wal-Mart in the city, there were some other interesting parallels that I stumbled across.

Community groups filed lawsuits against the Wal-Mart projects’ environmental impact report for being incomplete, much like Duarte’s lawsuit against the Azusa Rock Quarry plan’s EIR, claiming it is insufficient.

A judge agreed that Wal-mart’s EIR was incomplete, but the ruling only stalled the project.

What I found most interesting was the Rosemead council came under fire for having an emergency vote to grant Wal-Mart a certificate of occupancy, something opponents said violated the Ralph M. Brown Act’s open meeting laws.

Azusa is facing similar claims after an urgency vote to reconsider the mining plan. The council had originally voted against it, but later voted to bring it back for a second vote at a council meeting without putting the item on the agenda. Duarte’s lawsuit includes alleging Azusa violated the Brown Act.

In Rosemead, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office faulted the council, but did not demand corrective action because the Wal-Mart was already built and open.

Will Azusa’s council face the same fate? And, if so, what are the potential implications?

Email: daniel.tedford@sgvn.com | Twitter: @dgtedford @sgvtribune | Facebook: SGVTribune

  • David

    “A judge agreed that Wal-mart’s EIR was incomplete, but the ruling only stalled the project.”

    That says it all. Vulcan has not torn down the mountain yet and cannot before the ruling.
    The facts are there, the hopes of Azusa Residents and their neighbors are still alive.

    The implications are simple, the Azusa City Attorney was incorrect about the Brown Act violations and similarly she is most definitely incorrect about the three documents not being tied together.

  • David

    Sorry, the quote in my above comment should have been this one:
    “In Rosemead, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office faulted the council, but did not demand corrective action because the Wal-Mart was already built and open.”

  • http://www.nominingexpansion.org/faq/faq.htm Rich

    The two legal cases are not remotely related. In the Wal-Mart case, the opponents assumed the development agreement contained rezoning of the site. It didn’t. So, overturning the development agreement did not revert the zoning to residential as the opponents had thought. Instead, it did virtually nothing, other than overturn the development agreement. In the Vulcan case, the text of the CUP and staff analysis indicates that the project is predicated on the approval of the development agreement. In addition, staff made lots of claims to that effect during the public hearings. The City will clearly lose the case in a court of law. In addition, despite the claims of the San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Vulcan attorneys believe that overturning the development agreement could stop their project, since they spent over $100,000 trying to stop the citizen’s petition. If they had seriously thought that they could avoid paying the extra few million dollars the development agreement brought in, they wouldn’t have tried to fight the petition. Vulcan and the City of Azusa are running scared. They should be. The people of Azusa are not as stupid as they assume.