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2004-01-24
West Covina, CA. City Blocks Plans for a Wal-Mart

The Associated Press reports that city officials in West Covina, California have blocked a developer from buying a San Gabriel Valley property that was slated to become home for another Wal-Mart and Home Depot. In a 3-2 vote on January 21st, the council voted not to sell 48 acres of a former landfill for $12.8 million to Eclipse Development Group. The developer was in negotiations with Wal-Mart for the property. Local residents complained that Wal-Mart would drive local retailers out of business and replace high-wage jobs with low-wage jobs. "West Covina has over 1,600 businesses, and many of the services provided by these businesses would have been duplicated by a Wal-Mart coming into town," one city councilor said. "Moreover, we want the new jobs coming into town to be well-paying jobs that respect our middle-class working community." The developer claimed to be surprised by the vote.
"We were instructed to bring in the best sales-tax generators we could for that site," the developer said. "With Wal-Mart and Home Depot, we had two of the three largest sales generators within the retail industry."

What you can do: West Covina joins the growing number of communities, like Manatee County, Florida, and Hood River, Oregon that have rejected Wal-Mart in the past few weeks. Developers aren't really surprised when communities reject these huge, over-sized stores. Or if they are surprised, they've been avoiding reading newspapers over the past several years. Wal-Mart has become the most unpopular form of land use in America.










 
 
"Norman has become the guru of the anti-Wal-Mart movement" ~ 60 Minutes

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