LANCASTER – The Second District State Court of Appeal Thursday reversed a decision rendered in 2010 by the Superior Court of Los Angeles County, which had upheld the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) prepared for The Commons at Quartz Hill shopping center, to be located at 60th Street West and Avenue L in the City of Lancaster.
The Plaintiff, Quartz Hill Cares, had originally asked the Superior Court to set aside the EIR for the proposed shopping center, which includes a Wal-Mart store.
The EIR, along with other actions, was approved in 2009 by the Lancaster Planning Commission and Lancaster City Council.
The Superior Court upheld the EIR in its entirety and denied the writ petition by Quartz Hill Cares. Quartz Hill Cares then appealed to the Court of Appeal. The Court of Appeal reversed the Superior Court decision on the sufficiency of evidence in the administrative record regarding the “Reduced Commercial Density Alternative.”
The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) requires that multiple project alternatives be considered in an EIR.
“Along with the developer and Wal-Mart, we are of course disappointed that the Court of Appeal would reverse the decision reached by the Superior Court on the basis of one aspect of a comprehensive and voluminous EIR,” stated Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris. “However, in shopping center developments such as this, it is unfortunately not uncommon to have to work through multiple legal challenges. The City Council, along with Wal-Mart, will now consider options to supplement the record in support of the EIR, which is compliant in all other aspects.”
The Commons at Quartz Hill shopping center project has been delayed since 2009. According to the City, the project was to provide 865 construction jobs and 927 permanent jobs to the community.
Read the full 32-page court ruling here.
(Information via press release from the City of Lancaster.)