Statement: “If this signature drive is successful, the city may have to call a special election sometime next year at a cost of $2.5 million,” KUSI recently reported about a petition aimed at repealing new regulations for big box stores like Walmart.
Analysis: Local debate over big box stores like Walmart intensified in recent weeks as the City Council added regulations that make them harder to build.
Before receiving permits for a store larger than 90,000 square feet, the new rules require the store to study its potential impact on existing business. If the impact is found to be negative, the City Council can stop the proposed store.
Opponents argue that the new process would ban big stores like Walmart, saying any study would show that a new store adds competition to the local market — a negative impact for existing businesses. That would give the Democrat-controlled City Council the legal means to vote against the permits.
So Walmart is collecting signatures to repeal the new rules through a ballot measure next year. If it submits enough — at least 31,000 — the city would be required to hold an election within 11 months.