Big Box, Small City Dilemna

Faced with budget shortfalls, small municipalities, like San Marcos, CA, are welcoming big box retailers--but not without encountering community and political opposition.
February 12, 2004, 7am PST | Connie Chung
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Faced with state budget cuts and the need to find new sources of revenue, the City of San Marcos has approved the construction of a number of big box developments including Staples, Lowe's and a second Wal-Mart. Opposing council members contend that the site of the second Wal-Mart, which was originally zoned for multifamily housing but converted to commercial specifically for Wal-Mart, could generate the same amount of property tax revenues from high density housing--something that San Diego County also desperately needs. Opposing residents have also expressed concern over traffic congestion, the effect that the big box will have aesthetically on their neighborhoods, and the effect of "strangling local businesses in a price war." "The effect big-box retailers have on a city sparked the city of San Diego to contemplate placing a ban on single retail establishments of more than 100,000 square feet."

Thanks to Connie Chung

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Published on Monday, February 9, 2004 in Yahoo! Newswire
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