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Regulating Big Box Stores Back on City Council Agenda

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Many San Diegans got mail from Walmart this week urging them to oppose a San Diego City Councilman's attempt to create tougher rules for large retailers.

Many San Diegans got mail from Walmart this week urging them to oppose a San Diego City Councilman's attempt to create tougher rules for large retailers.

Councilman Todd Gloria introduced a proposal at the Land Use and Housing Committee meeting Wednesday that would require new big box stores to provide analysis of their potential impact on local businesses.

The new regulation would apply to stores like Walmart Supercenters that are larger than 90,000 square feet and where groceries or nontaxable goods take up 10 percent of the floor. The council nearly banned such stores from the city three years ago.

Gloria said he is interested in protecting the jobs created by the city’s small businesses.

“When we’re considering which jobs we are trying to create, who we are trying to serve, I’m looking out for the 92 percent of San Diegans who serve or own a small business,” he said during the meeting.

Opponents say such a requirement would hinder economic growth and job creation.

The committee referred Gloria’s proposal to the city attorney and independent budget analyst for review before it goes to the full council.

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