While their claim to “good corporate citizenship” seemingly doesn’t stand up to scrutiny, it is true that Nestle Waters of North America certainly knows how to slink into town and cut a deal before the public is aware of anything.
It’s happened in almost every small town situation (and we’ve certainly mentioned it before) – and it’s happened again in the case of their Sacramento plant.
Not only was the economic development director apparently aiding the company in keeping their project secret, Nestle also took advantage of a (possibly illegal program) that allowed them to begin work on their plant before the necessary permits were issued (via the Sacramento Bee):
For three years, the city of Sacramento has allowed developers to start work on their projects before receiving formal permits.The practice, covered by the controversial Facilities Permit Program FPP, is now part of an expanding city investigation into the operations of its Community Development Department.
That investigation was launched after city officials said the son of a city councilman improperly allowed new homes to be built in the Natomas flood zone – months before permits for those homes were issued.
Questions about the permit program surfaced this week after city officials determined that construction of a new Nestlé water bottling plant was permitted to start with a verbal approval and authorization letter – and not a formal building permit.