Neighbors sue to block new Raley’s shopping center on former Capital Nursery site

A group of neighbors filed an environmental lawsuit in an effort to halt development of a new Raley’s supermarket and shopping center on Sacramento’s Freeport Boulevard, saying the project would wreck the residential character of their neighborhood.

Five South Land Park residents sued the city of Sacramento last week, saying the City Council’s approval of the project last month violated the California Environmental Quality Act.

Raley’s has been hoping to open the new store by August 2018, but CEQA suits can translate into significant delays or outright cancellations.

Officials with the city and Raley’s weren’t immediately available for comment Friday.

Raley’s plans to build a 55,000-square-foot supermarket on a Freeport Boulevard parcel a block north of its existing store, which would close down. The project, unanimously approved by the City Council, would include an additional 53,000 square feet of space for other retailers.

The site had been the former Capital Nursery, a longtime fixture along Freeport for years, until its closure in 2012. But the lawsuit, while acknowledging the site’s history, said the Raley’s project would take up a larger footprint and create a much greater intrusion on their neighborhood.

It would include 457 parking spaces, compared to just 75 operated by Capital Nursery. Loading docks and other elements of the project would be located immediately adjacent to the residential areas.

In the suit, filed in Sacramento Superior Court, the residents charged that city officials ignored…

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