Wal-Mart going to San Diego ballot?

Richard Rider, Chairman, San Diego Tax Fighters Richard Rider, Chairman, San Diego Tax Fighters 2 Comments


Posted on my blog: http://Walmart-SanDiego.notlong.com

Is the San Diego Wal-Mart superstore ban going to the ballot?
by Richard Rider

4 December, 2010

The San Diego Union-Tribune (the U-T) is doing a survey on San Diego’s new Wal-Mart ban. Normally I’m not too interested in such unscientific polls, but this one might affect Wal-Mart’s decision to go to the voters via proposition to overturn the San Diego city ban on super Wal-Marts. Naturally I would support such a decision by Wal-Mart.

Wal-Mart already has formed a campaign committee — though it looks like it’s for a 2012 vote rather than a referendum of the ban ordinance in the spring of 2011. Hard to say.

To vote:

Or vote by phone 619-293-2506, or 1-800-244-6397 ext.2506

If you oppose such bans, please vote. If you are on the other side, please don’t. I think we can count on the labor unions turning out their members in this matter. We need a decent showing from consumers and limited government advocates — even if you personally don’t care for Wal-Mart.

NOTE: The paper’s question is biased. Boy, is THAT a surprise!! While the question online is straightforward, the one in the print paper is not. Here it is:

“Big-box retailers such as Wal-Mart must now study how any proposed supercenter would affect its surrounding neighborhood. Do you agree with the new restriction?”

Of course, that’s not what the ordinance says, or does. They don’t just have to do a study. The study invariably kills off any chance of building a grocery superstore in SD.

It sets an impossible standard — that a big new store does not hurt the sales of any other store. And it limits this study to big box stores that sell groceries — all other big box stores are exempt. Unless a business fails, a new competitor ALWAYS “hurts” existing competitors.

To quote from the U-T article on the ban:
In an October report, San Diego’s independent budget analyst, Andrea Tevlin, wrote that the ordinance might be too restrictive since it states a determination must be made that superstores “will not adversely affect the City’s neighborhood and small business.”

“We are concerned that the findings may be overly restrictive as currently written, and may constitute a de facto ban on superstore development,” she said in the report.


It IS a DE FACTO ban on some superstores in San Diego (Wal-Marts or Targets that sell low cost groceries).

Think it’s not a ban? Check out the results of the city of LA ordinance that it quite similar to the San Diego ordinance just passed. In the same U-T story, we find the following:

In Los Angeles, no superstore applications have been submitted since the city adopted a similar ordinance in 2004.

Doubtless Wal-Mart would like to open superstores in LA, but they recognize that the city council will use such studies to ban any such efforts — just like San Diego now plans to do. Low income LA consumers lose — while the more affluent drive to neighboring bergs to shop at Wal-Mart superstores.

Oh, BTW, LA city budget woes arguably are worse than San Diego. They will go into BK before we do.


Comments 2

  1. 2012 not 2011? Are they doing this to influence the re-election bids of cerain council members as well as the election of the next mayor? Maybe San Diego will be where they make a point to politicians around the country that they’re not going to roll over. Wal-Mart money vs. union money…and we thought the Prop D campaign was ugly.

  2. Post

    THAT’S a 2012 battle I’d love to see. After all, which entity is more popular in San Diego — Wal-Mart or the labor unions?

    Such a contest should eat into the Democrat’s primary numerical constituency — the lower income folks who benefit most from low Wal-Mart prices.

    That being said, I’m still hopeful Wal-Mart will go for the ordinance referendum this spring (it has to be done VERY quickly), and offers to pay for a city mail ballot election on the matter.

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