community groups appeal walmart permits in chinatown

This week in Los Angeles, small businesses, residents, and other community groups filed an appeal to the building permits approved for the proposed, controversial Chinatown Walmart grocery store.

This comes after the City Council unanimously passed a motion to regulate large retail chain stores in Chinatown, but not before Walmart quietly received last minute permits the day before the hearing.

Here's part of the press release from Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy (LAANE):
Arkansas based Walmart will not be able to open the proposed store without a final Certificate of Occupancy. As a result of this appeal, the building permits will be subject to future review by various city departments and the decision to grant the permits could be reversed. The appeal raises questions about whether the Department of Building and Safety fully reviewed all of the proposed plans and conditions imposed on the project by the CRA and other city departments.

In February 2012, Walmart proposed a small format grocery store at 701 W. Sunset Boulevard in Chinatown. The store has sparked resistance from community groups and small business owners who feel that the local community and businesses could be disrupted by the entrance of the large retailer. In 2005, Walmart also attempted to circumvent the public’s input. They financed a failed ballot initiative in Inglewood that would have eliminated community decision making around their proposed store in that community.

Community residents, organizations, and small businesses were adamant Thursday about preserving the historic spirit of Chinatown and making sure that widespread business and cultural displacement did not occur.
Pretty damn sneaky, Walmart. Stealthily getting their permits at the eleventh hour before the city council hearing. You can't tell me they didn't know what they were doing. But community members are not giving up on this effort. More here: Chinatown Fight's Still On: Groups Appeal Walmart Permits.

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