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Residents’ Concerns on La Palma Walmart Store Delivery Operations Have to Wait

By Rico Dizon

“Too close for comfort.” This old adage spells the situation that some La Palma residents are experiencing right now since the Walmart Neighborhood Store in La Palma started operations in May of this year.

From all indications the residents have to live for sometime with the disturbance after over a month and at least three meetings with Walmart representatives and the City Council since they voiced their indignations over the store’s operations that ruffled their quality of life.

This is the impression one gets after listening to the report by La Palma Director for Community Development Douglas Dumhart and the personal observations shared by affected resident Rene Buchanan during the last City Council meeting last Aug. 6.

Buchanan who lives at De Vries Lane and whose home is right beside the Walmart delivery area said, “this certainly is not a quick fix.” For example, a recommendation that appears in the City Council meeting agenda on Aug. 6 is “to adopt a resolution approving a building permit fee waiver for first in homeowners to raise their fence height and/or install noise reduction windows/and or doors.”

In the first place, the idea to raise their 5ft wall is not even workable and highly dangerous because the wall’s width is only 3 inches, the report said. “The existing wall has to be demolished and put up a new higher wall”, said Dumhart. Rene asked, “where will the money come from as we do not have the money to finance the construction of a new high-rise wall.”

Another recommendation is to adopt a resolution establishing truck delivery hours and no parking/stopping in the alley behind 5410-5482 La Palma Avenue. Again, this is something that is just too difficult to implement as it will have to change the California Vehicle Code as attested by the City Attorney.

The community development director posted a sign to warn Walmart delivery trucks of the prohibitive hours. As it turned out, the sign was posted right at the alley and confuses the truck drivers, Buchanan reported during the city council meeting.

She said the drivers were confused over the No Delivery before 7 AM and after 10 PM signs. As a result, she said the trucks are parked in the area overlooking our private home and yard while waiting for the allowed time to unload. She can also hear the load conversations of drivers over their 5 feet fence. She said the sign should be posted out in the streets along La Palma Ave. and Walker St. to warn drivers not to proceed to the alley yet before 7 A.M. and after 10 P.M.

Councilman Henry Charoen asked Walmart Public Affairs Director Aaron Rios who came to the meeting “to help educate their truck drivers in complying with the truck delivery ordinance. “We don’t want to give tickets to your truck drivers said the smiling councilmember.” The ticket costs $27.
In regards to other complaints that Walmart employees “hang around” in the delivery area during breaktime, Dumhart said the store agreed to lock the door leading to said area.
As for the use of the compressor which produces a very loud noise, this has to be evaluated, he said. Concerns over the security cameras in the area whose view range expose the privacy of the homes adjacent to the store’s unloading area, Dumhart said he was told by Walmart that the camera lens are fixed.

Asked by Councilman Gerard Goedhart if she thinks the situation improved, Buchanan answered, “yes but it is not perfect.” Her facial expression and body language though seem to communicate, “it is far from satisfactory.”

  • McMahon, J. says:

    Saturday, August 10, 2013.


    Deja vu from 1970’s, where the former Drug Emporium Pad existed and now home to LP Korean Market. LP had one or two grocery stores located here, as the delivery noise was non- compatible to the surrounding new residential neighborhoods. Home Owners protested and finally the grocery stores vacated this strip mall & replaced by lo impact Drug store chain.

    Quick fix for the LP Wal-Mart (WM) pad, for delivery trucks to unload in the vacant section of the parking lot, adjacent to Union Gas Station. Use delivery fork lift and have all of the grocery goods either delivered to the rear loading docks or front door access. Many stores do this across the nation, as many consumer stores do not have service allies which are compatible for TODAY’S over size 18 wheeler diver trucks.

    Properties on De Vries Lane are the cities most premier maintained homes in the city. Homes are old and will fall to building cracks being produced by 18-wheeler tractor- truck vibrations. Staging of running Diesel Fuel trucks, friable gases from the trucks will contaminate the adj. properties attics and housing insulation, making for poss. cancerous environment for the adj. property homes. LP must conduct some air quality tests emitting from the staging of the delivery trucks. Alley of homes patios will be drenched in diesel friable contaminants. Strongly suggest De Vries residents seek counsel with Environmental Litigation Firm, as see some serious Health Hazards.

    Where is LP city traffic control commission? Egress from Wal-Mart Parking lot is blocked by curbside HORTICULTURE hedges, ( Marquee Billboard) so traffic leaving WM parking lots, is blinded by the hedge, in order for the cars to examine traffic flow E/W on LP Blvd.

    Another traffic control issues is the intersection of LP and Walker Blvd. Cars are making U-turns and turning right on red lights, when students are using the cross walk. W/ increase traffic at this intersection, the COMBO of U-Turns and right turns are ripe for pedestrian traffic road kill, especially during peak student usage!

    LP re-designed the center meridian on LP, between WM and the hospital parking lot, so cars could egress from WM. Well the street is not marked correctly, as the center island is not predominant and is being shared by J-Walkers, crossing from the hospital compounds to W-M pads. This is one of the city’s foggiest areas, as too confusing for cars-Vs-Jay Walkers.

    Upsetting to me, Cerritos WM and many cities across the nation, make WM construct awesome sustainable landscape environments surrounding WM. LP has failed to make WM do any upgrades to the landscape. Parking lot resembles ugly concrete jungle from the 1960’s and does not reflect well upon the LP council. Well, should not be shocked, as combo of international diversity and immigrants being placed on LP CC and having non independent Planning Commission and non- transparency of being live on TV or WWW; THIS CHAOS IS THE END RESULTS OF CITY GOVERNMENT WEARING TWO HATS.

    LP needs to employ some independent Road Engineers, to make recommendations & CREATE AN INDEPENDENT SEATED PLANNING COMMISSION, and stop the quiet back door dealings between one City Council and Planning Commission.

    WAKE UP CALL: Negative fallout from LP. W-M is not to national industry standards for successful Heartland of America Philosophy & Urban Planning!!!!