Saturday, November 05, 2005

Ventura Actions Against Wal-Mart

California and the Central Coast has a history with Wal-Mart. It's recounted in the cover story of the Ventura County Reporter. Community activists in Ventura have mobilized to keep Wal-Mart out of their city.

Since Wal-Mart filed their proposed pre-application September 30, 2004, with the City of Ventura to develop a store in the location currently occupied by K-Mart on Victoria Avenue, the Stop Ventura Wal-Mart Coalition has undertaken local advocacy, community education and policy development efforts.

The Ventura group is supported by the Central Coast Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy, CAUSE, and leads the fight to keep Wal-Mart out of the city. The current VC Reporter article quotes a community organizer.

Why Wal-Mart Should Stay Away From Ventura

“There are many people who feel this isn't the kind of business we'd like to see--but we do recognize it's a challenge to keep a business from opening up,” said Cesar Hernandez, community planning director for CAUSE.

Hernandez argues that there is already a Wal-Mart in Oxnard, just six miles away and that the goal of the coalition isn't to just keep big boxes out; it's to create jobs that pay well.

Proposed Law Tightens Retail Requirements

But the city has an option, according to an article in the Ventura County Star co-written by Nan Waltman, chairwoman of the Stop Ventura Wal-Mart Coalition. It can require review of existing large sites when they change hands, but it would require a new city ordinance.

The current Victoria Avenue K-Mart lease is set to expire in 2007.

The Stop Ventura Wal-Mart Coalition has submitted an ordinance that would meet this need. Reoccupation of large retail sites would require approval of the Planning Commission--after the impacts on traffic, housing and damage to local businesses are mitigated by the retailer.

CAUSE has sought changes in the proposed 2005 City of Ventura general plan and has drafted a land use ordinance that would directly address Wal-Mart's proposed development. The draft ordinance has been endorsed by the Stop Ventura Wal-Mart Coalition and has been received positively by members of the Ventura city council and staff.

Learn About Wal-Mart's High Community Cost
You're invited to a movie presentation of
"Wal-Mart, the High Cost of Low Price"," sponsored by the Ventura Stop Wal-Mart Coalition, Tuesday, November 15, 2005 07:30 PM. Location: 3127 Trinity Drive, Ventura. Ticket price is free!
Join the team to stop Wal-Mart from opening a store in the K-Mart building on Victoria near the present location of Trader Joe's!

Directions to the movie: Main Street (from Downtown towards Pacific View Mall), Emma (right), Porter (left), Valmore (right), Channel Drive (left), Trinity (left).

Click for more about film screenings.

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