Clovis News

Clovis council approves Winco supermarket

The Clovis City Council approved a Winco supermarket Monday night.

But opponents say plans for the 116,000-square-foot Winco supermarket do not meet city zoning guidelines and are likely to file a second lawsuit over the project.

A lawsuit was filed last summer over the Winco site at Peach and Herndon avenues. The owners of Food 4 Less at Chestnut and Shepherd avenues in Fresno contend they will lose a significant amount of business if the Winco is built about three miles away.

In late 2009, the Winco project developer pulled the plan and filed a new proposal.

A new lawsuit may have to be filed because the Winco project was changed, said Ricardo Aranda, a lawyer with a Stockton law firm that also filed a series of legal actions against the city over a proposed Wal-Mart Supercenter project.

By approving the Winco project, the City Council took the same position as the city's planning commission took in May.

San Diego developer Joe Ham said Winco made sure that the proper zoning was in place two years ago when they decided to buy land for the store.

City officials said the city had previously approved environmental documents for a shopping center that includes Target, Best Buy, PetSmart and the Winco site.

City Council Member Bob Whalen said he expects a lawsuit to be filed against the city even though it appears the city has acted lawfully.

In other action, council members did not approve putting the city's name on a letter opposing Arizona's new illegal immigrant law and support for comprehensive immigration reform.

The council voted 3-1 in favor of taking no action. City Council Member Lynne Ashbeck said "we weren't elected to do immigration reform."

Council Member Jose Flores supported the letter saying the city "is not an island" and that Fresno County's other cities are likely to support it. The Council of Fresno County Governments is considering sending the letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.