A court-ordered injunction issued Thursday against a planned Walmart in Burbank could sideline the project and force the city to prove the world's largest retailer won't cause significant harm to local roadways and businesses.
Walmart had been planning to renovate the former Great Indoors site adjacent to the Empire Center in time to open in mid- to late 2013, but the Los Angeles County Superior Court injunction on Thursday effectively stops all work until the claims raised in a lawsuit filed by three Burbank residents earlier this year are settled.
The injunction also forces the city to suspend its approval of building permits issued to Walmart pending a trial.
Rachel Wall, a Walmart spokeswoman, called the ruling “shortsighted” because it delays the company in providing jobs, tax revenues and “more affordable shopping options.” The company, she added, was reviewing its legal options.
In his decision, Judge Robert O'Brien wrote that the city failed to show that completion of street improvements mandated by an ordinance wasn't required before the building permits were issued.