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S.D. City Council Votes to Ban Giant Retail Stores

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Aired 4/19/09

It doesn't look like San Diego will be getting a Wal-Mart Supercenter anytime soon. The city council voted last night to ban certain giant retail stores including Wal-Mart. The council was divided over the issue with five members supporting the ban and three opposing it. KPBS reporter Alison St John has more.

The vote, which was divided into two parts, culminates more than two years of debate over the issue. The council unanimously agreed to regulate big box stores over 50,000 square feet. But they were divided over the ban of Supercenters, mega retail outlets that swallow up to 250,000 square feet.

Diana Spiridonidas of the Business Improvement Council was one of dozens who testified

Spiridonidas: Imagine Peoples’ Market in Ocean Beach closing its doors or North Park leaving City Heights, Keils leaving Clairmont, or Traders Joes leaving Pacific Beach or La Jolla - we know that supercenters systematically and purposefully close down neighborhood grocery stores.

Wal-Mart employees that had packed city hall, left disappointed after the vote. Wal-Mart spokesman conferred with attorneys after the vote but declined to say whether the company will sue. Alison St John, KPBS News.

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