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Why Raley's is expected to build on prime real estate that’s been vacant since 2012

Rendering of the proposed Raley’s store on Freeport Boulevard
Rendering of the proposed Raley’s store on Freeport Boulevard

Raley's has settled a lawsuit with a group of South Land Park residents, allowing the grocer to build a supermarket and other stores on a gaping vacant parcel that once housed Capital Nursery.

The conditional settlement, filed with a Sacramento court on Thursday, appears to resolve a year-long neighborhood dispute over the grocer's plans to close its current Freeport Boulevard location and build a new supermarket along with ancillary retail outlets one block north.

Raley's spokeswoman Chelsea Minor said last month that construction could begin about six months after a settlement.

In their 2016 lawsuit, neighbors who live just west of the site alleged that the city ignored traffic, light, noise and aesthetic problems caused by the project.

The developer, MO Capital, agreed to adjust where the grocery building and another 12,000 square-foot building will sit on the 10-acre site. The developer also agreed to prevent delivery trucks and other vehicles from using back-up beepers on the site west of the front facade of the grocery building and the adjacent tenant spaces.

The agreement also limits loading dock hours to between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. on weekdays and between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. on weekends. The developers agreed as well to include 17-foot-tall redwood trees that will screen the project from a row of backyards.

Raley's also agrees not to stack any pallets behind the store. No smoking or parking will be allowed behind the building.

The developer also will pay four plaintiffs $20,000 each for window retrofits at their houses or for any other purposes the plaintiffs choose.

The new site plan, filed Thursday in Sacramento Superior Court, shows the main grocery store near the northwest, or back end, of the parcel, in line with several other tenant spaces. The loading docks connect to the building on one side, rather than in the rear of the building near the homes.

Six other smaller retail buildings are planning for the front end of the site, on Freeport Boulevard and Wentworth Avenue.

Councilman Steve Hansen, who represents that section of South Land Park, said “it’s a very important project for the city and we’re pleased that it gets to move forward, and we look forward to celebrating the store opening in the next year with the neighborhood.”

Hansen added that residents in the adjacent neighborhoods will be relieved once the project gets built. The lot has been sitting vacant and at times overgrown since Capital Nursery closed in 2012.

“The longer the project is delayed, the more we’ve had complaints from neighbors and others about the site,” he said. “It seems very important to the neighborhood that this project gets underway as soon as possible.”

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