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Hearing on Deer Creek Village postponed

After receiving hundreds of pages of documents in the past week protesting the proposed Deer Creek Village shopping center, the Petaluma City Council on Monday night agreed to postpone a critical hearing on the project.

The council was set to evaluate the final environmental impact report on the shopping center, essentially the deciding factor on whether the project will be allowed.

But two large document submissions came in from law firms representing neighborhood groups that oppose the center, raising the specter of lawsuits.

Deer Creek Village is planned as 344,000 square feet of retail, recreational and office uses at North McDowell Boulevard and Rainier Avenue. Friedman's Home Improvement this month signed a long-term lease to become the anchor tenant, replacing Lowe's, which pulled out in October.

Holding up a 3-inch-thick stack of papers Monday night, City Attorney Eric Danly said he was ready to recommend delaying the hearing based on the "extensive number of documents and comments and attachments and facts" submitted between last Tuesday and 4:15 p.m. Monday — just more than two hours before the hearing was to begin.

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