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Walmart Supercenters Banned in San Diego

BusinessSAN DIEGO - The City Council voted late Tuesday to ban certain giant retail stores, like Wal-Mart Stores Inc. that manifested intention to expand further in the nation.

Approved on a 5-3 vote, the Council prohibited stores of more than 90,000 square feet that used 10 percent of space to sell groceries and other merchandise that are not subject to sales tax. It takes aim at Wal-Mart Supercenter stores, which average 185,000 square feet and sell groceries.

If the Council reaffirms it on a second vote, San Diego City mayor Jerry Sanders will veto the ban that will likely happen in January, said mayoral spokesman Fred Sainz. The Council can override his veto with five votes, and further commented, "what the Council did tonight was social engineering, not good public policy."

Apparently there are supporters of this ban, while arguing that Wal-Mart not only puts smaller out of business, but pays workers poorly, and contributes to traffic congestion and pollution. Councilman Kevin Faulconer said, "quite simply, I do not think it is the role of the San Diego City Council to dictate where families should buy their groceries,"

Also, one of the voters, Councilman Tony Young countered, "I have a vision for San Diego and that vision is about walkable, livable communities, not big, mega-structures that inhibit people's lives."

However, Wal-Mart spokesman Kevin McCall said the Bentonville, Ark.-based company may consider a legal challenge or voter referendum if the measure becomes a law.

Jade Amethyst

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