From THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
Guest Opinion: Robert Eyler
[The Wal-Mart in Rohnert Park wants to expand by 35,000 square feet primarily for the purpose of selling groceries. On April 22, the plan was rejected by the Planning Commission on a 4-0 vote.]
On the surface, the expansion of Rohnert Park’s Wal-Mart into a supercenter is alluring.
This expansion adds a grocery component, and the Rohnert Park’s City Council, which will soon review the plan, will likely focus on the assumed sales tax generation and job creation such an expansion will provide.
It is important to recognize that an expansion of mainly grocery items will not generate a large amount of additional sales tax revenue, and the assumed loss of Pacific Market could lead to fewer jobs, reduced tax revenues, less consumer choice and create a significant vacancy problem at Mountain Shadows Plaza.
The issue for Rohnert Park decision makers is whether the environmental impact report has adequately assessed the cost/benefits of this expansion. Our evaluation shows there will be many hidden costs.