Sprawl-Busters Newsflash Blog - Anti-Sprawl news since 1998.
Subscribe to Sprawl-Busters Blog Follow Sprawl Busters on Twitter
Occupy Walmart & Order Al's Books Movies Newsflash! The Case Against Sprawl Home Towns Not Home Depot Victories Your Battles About Us Contact Us  

recent news

List articles
by the month:

2017
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2016
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2015
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2014
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2013
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2012
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2011
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2010
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2009
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2008
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2007
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2006
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2005
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2004
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2003
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2002
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2001
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2000
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

1999
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

1998
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC


Search database by text:

2007-02-25
Atascadero, CA. Wal-Mart Withdraws Plans—For Now.

Wal-Mart approached the city of Atascadero, California with plans to build a 187,000 s.f. supercenter almost a year ago. When they got around to filing plans with the city, the store increased in size to 207,000 s.f. But this week, representatives of developers working on the plan indicated that tomorrow Wal-Mart is likely to withdraw its plans. But before opponents start celebrating, it appears that Wal-Mart is merely positioning itself, to return with a slightly smaller footprint. According to the Tribune News, representatives with the EDA Design Professionals, which is working for the Wal-Mart developer, will submit a letter Monday withdrawing the Wal-Mart application and site plans. The plan as submitted required a change in the city's General Plan, which currently only allows a store up to 150,000 s.f. for this parcel. The amendment to the General Plan was slated to be heard in mid March. The consulting firm seemed to be unaware of what the giant retailer's rationale was for withdrawing. "I don't know what their decision-making process is, to tell you the truth," the EDA spokesman told the Tribune. "I don't know what prompted it. I just haven't been clued in." Atascadero's City Manager clarified that Wal-Mart was rethinking the project, and would "perhaps propose something smaller." Wal-Mart, or one of its real estate holding companies, has reportedly purchased 26 acres of land off Highway 101. Opponents to the supercenter have been working on an ordinance that would require stores larger than 100,000 s.f. to limit their interior square footage devoted to grocery sales. But Mayor George Luna, who has indicated he likes the concept of the ordinance, recently withdrew his support, allegedly because of his concern over litigation by Wal-Mart. Tom Comar, a spokesman for the group Oppose Wal-Mart, told the newspaper, "We will wait and see what their proposal is. Obviously they realize they have a fight on their hands if they go ahead with their larger proposal. I think they may be listening." Comar told Sprawl-Busters that Wal-Mart's announcement came only hours before a City Council meeting that had the big box ordinance on the agenda. He describes Wal-Mart's latest withdrawal as "just a maneuver to quash the ban before any real discussion could take place. I believe their intent is also to appear to be cooperating with the city and the general plan limitations for now."

What you can do: Many California cities now have similar ordinances as the one being considered by Atascadero, and they have proven to be bullet-proof legally. Wal-Mart challenged in court such an ordinance in Turlock, California, and lost. Wal-Mart frequently uses store size as a negotiating chip with local communities. In Lancaster, Massachusetts, for example, Wal-Mart announced recently that it would cut its store size from 160,000 s.f. to $140,000 s.f. in response to citizen opposition to its plans. "Shrinking" the store slightly is a minor concession from Wal-Mart, and certainly is far easier for the retailer to deal with than a limit on superstore size. One thing is clear: Wal-Mart has no intention of abandoning its store plans in Atascadero, but its "withdrawing" only as a political move, hoping to keep the Mayor far away from any new ordinances that other California communities have already embraced. For earlier stories, search by "Atascadero."










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

info@sprawl-busters.com
Strategic Planning ~ Field Operations
Voter Campaigns 
21 Grinnell St, Greenfield ~ MA 01301
(413) 772-6289