A lawyer is claiming Hesperia did not follow state environmental law when the planning commission gave the thumbs-up to a planned Wal-Mart Supercenter.
Upland-based attorney Cory J. Briggs has sued Victorville and Barstow over planned Wal-Mart locations and sued Glendora over a planned assisted living community. In each case, Briggs represents an anonymous citizen's group -- Build Barstow Smart, Friends of Glendora and, in Hesperia, Citizens for Responsible Equitable Environmental Development. In an interview with the Riverside Press-Enterprise, Briggs declined to name any members of Build Barstow Smart, saying he was shielding them from intimidation.
In each case, Briggs has alleged that the cities have violated the California Environmental Quality Act. A Los Angeles Superior Court judge rejected his claim in Glendora, but in Victorville, the city ended up withdrawing its approval of a proposed Bear Valley Road Wal-Mart Supercenter.
Briggs will not discuss the appeal of the Hesperia planning commission's January 29 ruling until after the hearing, according to a representative.
The proposed Wal-Mart Supercenter will be the anchor store of the planned Main Street Marketplace on the southeast corner of Main Street and Escondido Avenue.
"We're going to press ahead and try to finish the process as quickly as possible with the goal of bringing a Supercenter to residents of Hesperia," said Wal-Mart spokesman John Mendez. "We would like to open the store as soon as possible, and if it were in 2010, then Hesperians could begin shopping in their own Supercenter and saving money."
According to Mendez, the store would bring more than 300 jobs, most of them full-time positions, to the city.
"The community is overwhelmingly in support of the Supercenter as evidenced by the attendance at the planning commission hearing" and the more than 300 letters of support received by the planning commission, Mendez said. "The community wants the Supercenter to come along as quickly as possible."
The Hesperia City Council is expected to take up the appeal on March 3.
Beau Yarbrough can be reached at 956-7108 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.