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As Lowe’s withdraws from Alhambra, non-profit says lawsuit was never about them

Courtesy of Lowe's Newsroom.


Alhambra , CA United States

The non-profit that filed the lawsuit against the Lowe’s development sought to clarify that they never had a problem with a Lowe’s superstore coming to Alhambra.

Several months ago, after Grassroots Alhambra had filed a lawsuit blocking the development, Lowe’s planned on pulling out of the project, reported the Pasadena Star-News. The Charles Company, which was the developer on the project, had tried to reach a settlement agreement with Grassroots Alhambra in a bid to get Lowe’s to stay.

George Ray, the development manager for the project, told the Pasadena Star-News that he thought the group was using this project for Alhambra to change its process. “This was all a scheme due to some other internal city politics I’m not familiar with,” he said.

Ron Sahu, a member of Grassroots Alhambra, said that the group had started discussions with the Charles Company a couple of months ago. Both had agreed on preserving the Lowe’s but had differed on other elements. He said the developer wanted to conduct another traffic study after the Lowe’s was built, but that Grassroots Alhambra wanted that to occur beforehand. After sending a counter-proposal, Sahu said that their group never heard back from the developer.

Sahu wasn’t sure how Lowe’s withdrawal would affect the lawsuit. “The lawsuit is hitting the legality of that action, so in that sense, the claims are still there,” he said.

Sahu also said that the lawsuit was not politically motivated. “You don’t settle a political argument with a legal process,” he said. “We were dissatisfied with the City’s process with how they go about analyzing environmental impacts and how they do that oversight.”

We have reached out to the Charles Company for comment and will update this article if they respond.

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6 thoughts on “As Lowe’s withdraws from Alhambra, non-profit says lawsuit was never about them”

  1. David, the Grassroots Alhamabra lawsuit was completed funded by GRA members. The appeal of the Planning Commission’s decision, which the city charges $1,000 for, was funded by small donations from the community. No special interest money was accepted.

    In the interest of transparency, both Councilman’s Mejia and Maloney each accepted a $5,000 campaign donation from the Charles Co. (the developer of the land where the Lowe’s was to be built) before they voted to move the project forward at appeal proceedings.

    A look through the current City Council’s campaign finance records will reveal that none of them are opposed to accepting large campaign donations from special interests (developers, city contractors, consultants, large businesses, Alhambra Chamber of Commerce Executive Board members, etc.)

    I bring this up because Grassroots Alhambra’s conscience is clean. I am not so sure the same can be said of the Alhambra City Council with regard to special interest money.

    I hope that answers your question, David Anderson. You can read about what Grassroots Alhambra stands for at their website.


    1. My question was how you planned to finance the Environmental suit, not appealing the Planning Commission decision.

      1. Grassroots Alhambra

        The lawsuit is funded entirely by individuals from Grassroots Alhambra and absolutely no money is taken from outside interests, directly or indirectly. GRA cannot be bought.

      2. David, the environmental lawsuit is completely funded by Grassroots Alhambra members. No special interest money is funding the lawsuit. No corporation, including Home Depot, is involved in the lawsuit. I hope that answers your question.

  2. Grassroots Alhambra

    The lawsuit is funded entirely by individuals from Grassroots Alhambra and absolutely no money is taken from outside interests, directly or indirectly. GRA cannot be bought.

  3. In the interest of transparency, a relevant question to Grassroots would be for them to indicate the source of the financing for the suit. Environmental suits are often used by competition to prevent competition. The big winner from no Lowe’s in Alhambra is Home Depot. My suspicion is that the money for the suit whether directly or indirectly came from Home Depot.