The city of Rocklin is suing the town of Loomis over a planned Costco store on the border between the two Placer County cities.
Rocklin is seeking to rescind Loomis’ approval of the store, which has been approved for the southeast corner of Brace Road and Sierra College Boulevard. The store is expected to be 155,000 square feet, with a gas station on the premises.
In the lawsuit, Rocklin cites concerns about the traffic the new Costco store would generate. The battle between the two cities has been roiling for three years, with the first court hearing scheduled in Feb. 2021.
Sacramento Business Journal Editor-in-Chief Adam Steinhauer spoke with CapRadio’s Mike Hagerty to explain what’s happening.
This interview has been edited for clarity and length.
On what is behind the lawsuit between Rocklin and Loomis
The main issue is the traffic … the store would be right on the border. In the lawsuit, Rocklin states concerns about the traffic that would be generated. Specifically, they’re alleging that those concerns haven’t been adequately addressed in the environmental impact report that the city of Loomis approved.
Another allegation within the suite is that Loomis failed to assure that the Costco is going to end up paying for mitigation of the traffic impacts. And if not, since most of the traffic is likely to be running through Rocklin, then Rocklin taxpayers will eventually be picking up the tab for that.
On next steps and comments from Loomis and Costco
They’re [Rocklin and Loomis] still in talks about a resolution, is what we’ve heard from Rocklin's city attorney. But with the store approved, they felt they had no option but to go to court at this point.
The folks from the town of Loomis have declined to comment on pending litigation. Costco has also declined to comment. It’s generally been their policy not to comment on new stores until they’re prepared to open, and construction on this particular one hasn’t broken ground yet.
On a similar lawsuit over a Costco store in Placer County
This is [a] familiar [lawsuit]. Back in 2015, Costco was planning a store just outside the city of Auburn, and Auburn, much like Rocklin is doing now, raised environmental concerns. Costco essentially ended up walking away from that plant location.
It was around that time they began considering the Loomis location. So the history is when controversies like this one come up, Costco might not stick around for it. They might go on to a location that’s easier, or that’s more welcoming.
On the effects if Costco decides to no longer build their store
It would [impact the anticipated tax revenues for Loomis]. The tax revenues from retail tax, sales tax have been an issue there. There have been tensions before the planned retail developments.
Basically, [there are] tensions between folks who would prefer the town to stay small and those who were concerned about its tax base.
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