The legal challenge against the proposed Wal-Mart Distribution is the "poster child" for the need for CEQA reform. The suit was a total abuse of process.
While the plaintiffs were three local individuals, the legal fees were paid by out-of-area interests who oppose Wal-Mart, according to an in-depth investigation by the Wall Street Journal. The sad thing is that even if the opponents had prevailed on any of their assertions, it would have only resulted in a "do-over." The suit was never about protecting the environment, it was just about delaying the process, and both the Superior Court and the 5th District Court of Appeals found that the legal challenge was totally without merit.
Hopefully the city will do everything in its power to expedite the permitting process. Merced desperately needs the 600 full-time, good paying jobs.