The City of Sacramento might make it easier for big box stores to open. Scot Mende with the Community Development Department says under the current rules, the city decides where a store can do business in part based on the company’s wage and benefits package.
"We certainly understand that issue and I think our position is that it really isn’t a land-use question," says Mende. "It is really is more of a shopping/consumer preference issue. And so someone needs to ask that question but it wouldn’t necessarily be the city as a condition of a use permit.”
Mende says the department would like to allow stores like Target or Wal-Mart to move into older areas on the edges of the city that have no grocery stores or are so-called “food deserts.”
The department would also like to have the option to waive an economic analysis. A study may currently be required if a store makes minor changes to the percentage of its products that are groceries.
The proposed changes are on the agenda to be introduced to the city council tonight. The council will hear testimony on the issues August 20th.
Mende says three stores have opened just outside the city limits within the past three years. He estimates the sales tax revenue from those stores is $1.5 million per year.