Wednesday, November 29, 2006

San Diego Bans Wal-Mart Supercenters

In order to avoid an influx of 24-hour supercenters like the one currently proposed for Northcross Mall, the San Diego City Council voted 5-3 on Tuesday to ban "big box" stores of more than 90,000 square feet that use 10 percent of floor space to sell groceries and other merchandise that is not subject to sales tax. The ban is aimed squarely at Wal-Mart.

"I have a vision for San Diego and that vision is about walkable, livable communities, not big, mega-structures that inhibit people's lives," said San Diego councilman Tony Young.

Mayor Jerry Sanders says he'll veto the ban if it's reaffirmed on a second vote next year, but the council can override Sanders' veto with five votes. Wal-Mart will undoubtedly be pulling out all the stops to sway at least one of the five council members who voted for the ban.

Of course, this sort of thing could never happen in a bend-over-for-business state like Texas. Austin might have the political will to pass such a ban, but state courts would never uphold it and the state legislature would punish the city with a fusillade of Austin-bashing bills.

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