Day: February 22, 2011

A look at the communities that booted the big box

By JASON COX Of the Keizertimes Keizer won’t be the first community considering whether to restrict big box retail. Other cities around the nation have put varying limits on retail size, purpose and placement – and each experience is different. This week we take a look at three towns, two in Oregon and one in California. The hope is readers can take other perspectives into consideration when deciding how to vote on Keizer’s Measure 24-314. Ballots are due on March 8. Turlock, Calif. Thinking twice about discount grocer ban This city of 69,321 served as a model for cities looking to keep huge discount grocery stores out of town. But now there’s serious talk of rescinding or loosening the ban. Instead of outright banning large retail buildings, the Turlock City Council took a more narrowed approach, defining what councilors didn’t want in their zoning code. They banned “discount superstores,” which in Turlock’s case was stores with a gross floor area larger than 100,000 square feet and who devote at least 5 percent of said space to non-taxable merchandise. In California, sales taxes are not applied to many foods. Walmart took the city to court in both state and federal courts. The California Supreme Court ruled Turlock had the right to enact an ordinance its council felt could harm the town, while a U.S. District Court Judge ruled against Walmart’s...

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