Big box stores in San Diego

The battle over “big box stores” in San Diego will pick up again a day after the election.
The Council is being asked to push through a ban before two new Council Members are seated in December.

KUSI's Steve Bosh breaks down this agenda.

The Labor Unions and their allies on Council succeeded in banning a Walmart Supercenter back in 2007, which the Mayor vetoed. But Council failed to override the veto when Donna Frye changed her vote after pressure from constituents.

Councilmember Todd Gloria is leading the charge this time, his plan would make it more difficult for large retailers, like Walmart, to put a Supercenter in San Diego. He says these “big box stores” have a disproportionate impact on small businesses. Gloria's proposed ordinance would require another layer of bureaucratic review, an additional permit, and the retailer would have to produce and pay for an economic impact study.

If this initiative passes the impact would also include a loss of sales tax revenue for the City while discouraging business investment, and if it passes, Mayor Sanders says he will veto it again, “I've always said I'd veto it, I just think people deserve choice.”

Councilman Carl DeMaio said this is a time when we need sales tax revenues. DeMaio says its very inconsistent for San Diegans when some of the City leaders are supporting this ban on big retail stores and on the other hand their asking for more sales tax revenues.

The city's development services department says Gloria's plan is inconsistent with the city's general plan. If the Mayor veto's it the council still has time to over ride the veto just before the new council members are seated.


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