Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Faxploitation: More Good News For People Who Love Bad News About Wal-Mart

By Kara Platoni
Wed, Mar 7, 2007 at 3:28 PM

This just in on the heels of the recent news that the Ninth Circuit has allowed the nation's biggest civil rights lawsuit to go forward against the mega-retailer as a class action suit: the California Healthy Communities Network brings us word that Concord just became the umpteenth Bay Area municipality to thwart a Wal-Mart proposed for its community. Quoth the press release: "It was only the latest setback for Wal-Mart, who in more than a year of trying, has failed to open or expand a Bay Area store - a Hercules parcel was seized by the city, another store in American Canyon is padlocked by order of the court, Oakland and Martinez have bans on big boxes like Wal-Mart SuperCenters, Livermore is considering a ban and Antioch last month rejected an expansion of a Wal-Mart into a SuperCenter." The full text after the jump.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Wal-Mart/Jones Ranch project rejected 3-2 by Concord City Council; Only the latest setback for retail giant in attempts to expand in Bay Area

CONCORD - Shortly before midnight here Tuesday, the Concord City Council voted 3-2 to reject a proposed 24-hour Wal-Mart, and a 28-acre Jones Ranch development because of crime, traffic, economic and other concerns.

Residents and others who had participated in two nights of hearings over the past week hailed the City Council decision to turn down the Environmental Impact Report.

It was only the latest setback for Wal-Mart, who in more than a year of trying, has failed to open or expand a Bay Area store - a Hercules parcel was seized by the city, another store in American Canyon is padlocked by order of the court, Oakland and Martinez have bans on big boxes like Wal-Mart SuperCenters, Livermore is considering a ban and Antioch last month rejected an expansion of a Wal-Mart into a SuperCenter.

"We'd like to thank the council members for doing their homework, and listening to residents who did theirs, and had the best interests of the community at heart. This has always been a land use issue. It was a 'bait and switch' plan, the EIR didn't add up and the council members saw through it," said Allie Gramm of "No More on 4."

"We are very pleased the majority of the City Council agreed with us that environmental and economic impact studies on this proposed big box project were deficient. We applaud their decision turn down this big box nightmare. It takes courage to do the right thing and say no to Wal-Mart, the world's largest retail corporation and to its local developers, said Gregg Davidson of the community group "No More on 4."

Council members Laura Hoffmeister, Helen Allen and Michael Chavez voted to reject the EIR after city staff and consultants stumbled over questions about traffic plans, and exactly how much revenue would go to the city. Even though mayor Mark Peterson voted for the project, he did so over concerns that "Wal-Mart does bad things."

"Wal-Mart's attempt to take over communities, destroying their lifestyles, the environment and small businesses is failing because local residents are fighting back. The Concord City Council did the right thing for its residents," said Phil Tucker, project director for California Healthy Communities Network, a nonprofit that monitors land-use issues.

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