SACRAMENTO, CA - Sacramento city council members voted 6-2 to ease restrictions for big box stores to operate within city limits.
Currently, there are no big box stores like Walmart or Target in Sacramento. But city leaders said they want to attract more businesses to the city to increase sales tax revenue.
"Big box stores are taking advantage of our communities," said Deirdre Lopez, who is against the mega retailers setting up shop in the city.
After debating for several hours, city leaders said they came up with a compromise that would allow big box stores to expand without opening the floodgates:
- Big box stores will no longer have to conduct a wage analysis
- Businesses must still perform a less intensive economic impact analysis before receiving a permit
- Businesses can skip that step if they meet certain criteria, including moving into certain planned development areas like Delta Shores and North Natomas
- Businesses are not allowed to expand more than 25 percent
- Stores that want to build in areas without grocery stores will be exempt from a economic impact analysis
"I think it's good, it will reduce barriers to come into Sacramento," said Joshua Wood, a supporter of the stores.
Some feel this issue should not have even been put before the current council because several council members have accepted donations to their campaigns or charities from big box stores.
"When people get personal money from Walmart, they can't vote on an issue," Sacramento resident Bill Camp said.
The relaxation of the ordinance won't take effect until July 2014.
Those against the changes said they do intend on creating a ballot measure for next June.