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Council to hear issue of Supercenter
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The final decision on the Mitchell Ranch Shopping Center with its anchor tenant, the Walmart Supercenter, could come Monday when the Ceres City Council considers an appeal of the Ceres Planning Commission's 3-1 approval of the project.

The council moved up its meeting time to 5:30 p.m. in anticipation of a lengthy and well-attended meeting. The meeting takes place at the Ceres Community Center.

A group of 95 residents, calling themselves Citizens for Ceres, signed on as opponents of the 26-acre shopping center project proposed for the northwest corner of Mitchell and Service roads and filed the appeal. The group, which is represented by attorney Bret Jolley, will argue why the council should not agree with the commission's 3-1 approval issued on Apri 4 after lengthy input. In past meetings, Jolley has insisted that the extensive environmental study of the project is lacking in considering potential blight on the community.

Walmart officials say approximately 10,000 persons, mostly shoppers of the existing Ceres store, are supportive of the project.

Ceres Planning Commissioners asked for rock veneer to be added onto the front of the proposed Walmart Supercenter design. The company has since released an artist rendering of the facade,

Mayor Chris Vierra has publicly stated that the council will not consider commercial politics in evaluating the merits of a land use decision.

A shopping center is a permitted use under the Regional Commercial zoning.

The building site is owned by the Walmart Corporation, which has been planning for the center since 2007. At build-out, the shopping center would bring 10 other retail shops totaling 114,162 square feet consisting of three other major tenants and four smaller shops as well as a stand-alone retail building and two to three restaurants.