SAN DIEGO (CNS) - San Diego business leaders who oppose an ordinance that requires developers of big box superstores to perform costly economic impact studies urged the City Council Friday to repeal the law.
Opponents of the ordinance, passed in November, turned in enough petition signatures to force a public vote, and council members will decide next week whether to repeal the measure or call a special election.
Now that council President Tony Young has publicly stated that he will vote to repeal, and with Lorie Zapf replacing ordinance supporter Donna Frye on the ballot, it appears there are enough votes to rescind the law.
"A lot of us have been around long enough to know nothing is final (with the City Council) until all the (voting) buttons are pushed on the dais," said T.J. Zane of the Lincoln Club of San Diego County. "We're going to keep the pressure on."
If the ordinance is not overturned, then a coalition called "San Diego Consumers for Choice" will campaign for its defeat in a vote of the public, according to Zane.
Supporters of the "Ordinance to Protect Small and Neighborhood Businesses" say economic impact studies are necessary to determine the impact a large store might have on the surrounding neighborhood. It targets new retailers that are larger than 90,000 square feet and generate more than 10 percent of their revenue from groceries.
Opponents claim it amounts to a virtual ban on Wal-Mart because it employs non-union labor.
On Thursday, Wal-Mart proposed to build about a dozen new stores in San Diego, ranging from neighborhood groceries to superstores, but a spokeswoman said it would be difficult to carry out the plan if the measure was still in effect.
The City Council will acknowledge receipt of the petition signatures on Monday, then vote on the possible repeal on Tuesday.