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:

2018
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

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:

2008-01-31
Ventura, CA. Residents Move Forward With Ballot Initiative

When the leaders don't lead, the people must lead themselves. Sprawl-Busters reported on January 17, 2008, that citizens in Ventura, California had waited for months for their elected officials to clamp down on superstore development. Now they are planning to go right to the voters to get what they want. A coalition of citizen and labor groups announced on January 30th that they are filing a ballot initiative that will ban any grocery stores larger than 90,000 s.f. They held a press conference in front of the empty Kmart store that Wal-Mart wants to tear down and replace with a supercenter. "It's our city. It's our choice," a spokesman for Livable Ventura, one of the groups backing the initiative, told the Ventura County Star. "The voice of the people is going to decide this issue." Just by filing the ballot question, the group will block any superstore project that is submitted during the next ten months, because the ballot measure would not appear until the November 4, 2008 election. To get on the ballot, the groups have to collect more than 8,900 signatures by May 16th. That's roughly 15% of the registered voters in Ventura. When Wal-Mart takes issues to the ballot, it hires signature gatherers. At this point, Livable Ventura plans to rely on door to door volunteers. The groups will also have to expect to be seriously outspent during the run-up to the election. Wal-Mart has been known to spend $250,000 to $500,000 on a single ballot question. The Ventura ballot question will be what Sprawl-Buster's calls the "California Cap" model bylaw: it targets only big box stores that have a major grocery component. It does not impact home improvement stores, for example. Many communities that pass size caps make them across-the-board, no matter what gets sold inside, or what the logo on the building says. The initiative as drafted would define a "superstore" as any building in excess of 90,000 s.f. that devotes more than 3% of the sales floor to nontaxable grocery items. Wal-Mart superstores typically devote 40% or more of the floorspace to groceries. "It doesn't ban a Target, or a Best Buy or J.C. Penney," a spokesman for the coalition of groups told the newspaper. Wal-Mart's reaction to the announcement of a ballot iniative was not surprising. "We're disappointed in their decision to pursue further ways to keep us out of the community."

What you can do: The Coalition of groups seeking to gather signatures includes the Tri-Counties Labor Foundation, United Food and Commercial Workers, as well as the Stop Ventura Wal-Mart Coalition, Livable Ventura, and several other local groups. The Ventura City Council has voted already to limit the size of multistory stores at the Kmart site and along Victoria Avenue to 100,000 s.f., but refused to go along with limiting superstores to 90,000 s.f. Wal-Mart has a 99,000 s.f. superstore model, which would be larger than the empty Kmart it would replace. Wal-Mart thus far has only submitted a "concept plan" to the city. That plan came in at 150,000 s.f. Opposition to a store that big has been very vocal in Ventura. One Ventura resident summed up the feeling of many city residents when she told the newspaper, "If it's between a vacant store and Wal-Mart, vacant is good with me. I don't like Wal-Mart. I don't like what they have done to other towns." To help the work of the Stop Wal-Mart Coalition, contact CAUSE, 2021 Sperry #18, Ventura 93003, (805) 658-0810. Readers are urged to contact Ventura Mayor Christy Weir and the city council at (805) 654-7827, or email them at council@ci.ventura.ca.us. Tell them: "Take a vote to lower the cap on retail buildings to 90,000 s.f. Don't force residents to go on the ballot to get this done. The Council should be proactive and lower the cap without further prodding by the voters." For further background on Ventura's battle against Wal-Mart, search Newsflash by "Ventura."










 
 
"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