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Wal-Mart plan raises noise concerns

CERES -- About 20 people showed up to the first of two "scoping meetings" Wednesday on the proposed Wal-Mart Supercenter.

Community members and representatives of agencies such as the Regional Water Quality Control Board attended. Three people spoke on the proposal, expressing concern that the project would bring noise and blight.

The 314,000-square-foot Mitchell Ranch retail center plans include a Wal-Mart Supercenter. The review and comment period for the initial environmental report runs through Oct. 5.

The 44-page initial study includes detailed plans and maps of Mitchell Ranch. The report will analyze of how the shopping center would affect 15 environmental factors, including aesthetics, public services, noise, traffic and air quality, according to the document.

The project is proposed at the northwest corner of Service and Mitchell roads in south Ceres. Plans call for restaurants and retail stores anchored by a 208,000-square-foot Wal-Mart Supercenter.

Wal-Mart has a regular store at 1670 Mitchell Road. Supercenters are larger and sell more groceries, including meats, fruits and vegetables.

While city officials are looking at the center to provide much-needed sales-tax revenue, some residents don't like the idea of locally owned businesses competing with two Wal-Marts.

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