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Hearing date set for Walmart appeal

Hearing date set for Walmart appeal
An exterior shot of the former Great Indoors store, where Walmart may be located in the future. Photographed on Thursday, January 1, 2015. (Roger Wilson / Staff Photographer)

Oral arguments are scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. Feb. 26, according to the Second District Court of Appeal website.

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The appeal was filed in December 2013, and it seeks to overturn a ruling by Judge Allan J. Goodman in Los Angeles County Superior Court, rescinding the building permits issued for the former site of the Great Indoors adjacent to the Empire Center, in which Walmart planned to open a store.

The previous month, the Burbank City Council voted to not appeal the decision, but Walmart continued with its efforts to open a store in Burbank and filed an appeal.

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At the heart of the original lawsuit filed by Burbank residents Shanna Ingalsbee, Katherine Olson and Yvette Ziraldo were uncompleted street improvements outlined in an ordinance approved by the Burbank City Council 14 years ago.

The improvements include more turn lanes at key intersections on Buena Vista Street at Victory Boulevard and Empire Avenue.

Regarding the street improvements, Goodman ruled that "the city has violated its obligations to complete the [traffic] mitigation measures for the specified roadways by the time of completion" of the Empire Center, which opened in 2001.

The effect of Goodman's ruling is that the city has to either make the street improvements or it must convincingly show that they are not needed.

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In August 2012, a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge issued an injunction that halted construction of a new Walmart. However, the injunction was lifted in June 2013.

At the time, though, Walmart officials said they were awaiting the outcome of the lawsuit before proceeding.

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