Galt Planning Commission on April 13 studied a proposed building expansion at the Walmart Supercenter on Twin Cities Road, pitched as a way to handle online orders. Meanwhile, a comment period is ending soon on a residential development envisioned for the Lippi Ranch property.

During the Walmart study session, which did not result in official action, planning commissioners heard that the retailer, located at 10470 Twin Cities Road, is looking to build a 4,466-square-foot expansion to the east side of its building. According to Walmart and city staff, the annex would help fulfill a rising number of online orders for pickup and delivery. The request also includes additional signage.

Community Development Director Craig Hoffman said the change affects the business’s conditional-use permit and would require commission approval. No formal approval hearing was scheduled at the time of the study session, which was solely for informational purposes.

Hoffman said the concept of picking up an online order wasn’t as common when the permit was approved in 2011. Now, he said, the store averages 93 deliveries and 122 pickups per day.

Store manager Craig Holder said later that the current maximum capacity is 250 pickups and deliveries per day. He added that the store tries to keep pickups to less than three minutes. Pickup hours are 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Hoffman said surrounding property owners have complained to the city about noise, landscaping and trash. A public-comment letter noted that tractor-trailers idle on the property overnight. Code enforcement is difficult with idling bid rigs, Hoffman said, because the offending truck is typically gone by morning, when city staff can get to the location.

Holder said his company instructs Walmart-affiliated drivers to avoid idling on the property. According to him, the trucks that idle are generally not associated with Walmart.

“Working with Craig (Hoffman), we are committed to making sure that we are within the frame of the conditional-use permit,” Holder said.

The city and Walmart are considering ways to prevent big rigs from accessing the area near residences after hours, such as installing a gate. Commissioners expressed support for finding a solution.

A few people spoke in person during public comment. One, who identified himself as a neighboring resident, said he was not very bothered by the idling noise. He explained that drivers sometimes need to idle their trucks overnight so they can sleep comfortably and be alert on their routes. Another speaker voiced support for the project on behalf of the Walmart transportation department.

For the proposed Lippi Ranch project, the city of Galt is preparing a report on the residential development’s impact on the area at the south end of Third Street and west of the Union Pacific railroad tracks. A 30-day comment period for the scope of the environmental impact report ends on April 20.

The 9-acre subdivision would bring 94 single-family homes to a site that currently includes buildings associated with the Lippi family, who settled in Galt in the late 19th century and founded what would become Galt Winery. This cultural element, and how the developers should handle it, will form a major component of the impact report.

Summarizing an initial cultural report, consultant Jeremy Adams said three of the five buildings on the site are “historical resources” because of their connection to the winemaking history: the main residence, as well as a barn and a pumphouse.

Hoffman said nearby property owners were notified of the meeting. Kenneth Dugdale of the city’s Historic Preservation Advisory Committee said he found the initial report interesting and worth reading.

The Lippi Ranch staff report, with links to supporting documents and information on providing comment, can be found at (case sensitive).