North Auburn Wal-mart foes’ late lawsuit still alive

By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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A neighborhood group opposing locating a Wal-Mart-Costco-type store on one of the last large undeveloped properties along Highway 49 is likely to appeal after all. Superior Court Judge Charles Wachob ruled last week that the Alliance for the Protection of Auburn, or APACE, was late in filing its suit against Bohemia Properties. Victoria Connolly, one of the APACE leaders, said Tuesday that the group intends to appeal Friday’s decision and is considering more options. Another APACE leader, Lee Lively, had stated Monday that no appeal was planned. Connolly said Lively’s statement probably reflected initial discussion held just after the decision. “We are continuing to discuss matters with our attorney,” Connolly said. She added that while Dale Smith, who said Monday that he was sorry the decision didn’t go APACE’s way, isn’t part of the group’s suit, he was correct in stating that the court’s ruling is appealable “according to our attorney.” APACE has led opposition to Bohemia Properties developer Jim Conkey’s effort to build a Wal-Mart-Costco-type store on an 18.6-acre site near Luther Road and Highway 49. Supervisors approved the project’s use permit and environmental documentation Sept. 28 and APACE had until the end of the day Oct. 29 to file suit. Court documents filed by APACE attorneys state a process server was five minutes late to the Bill Santucci Justice Center in Roseville, which closed its doors at 4 p.m. that Friday. The suit was filed on the following Monday but Wachob said in his ruling that “whether (it) was filed a day late or a year late, and regardless of the excuse offered by petitioners for their failure to meet the statutory deadline for filing.” Bohemia spokesman Steve Cavolt applauded the initial decision by Wachob, stating that the judged “did the right thing and ruled in favor of Bohemia Properties based on the rule of law.”