A bill by Sen. Juan Vargas, D-San Diego, that would have required developers of big-box superstores to file reports on potential impacts to surrounding neighborhoods was vetoed, Gov. Jerry Brown announced Monday.
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SB 469 was a statewide version of an ordinance that was adopted by the San Diego City Council but later rescinded after Walmart collected enough signatures to force a public vote.
Walmart also opposed the state bill.
In a veto message, Brown wrote that laws that compel assessments of large-scale construction projects were already on the books.
"This bill would add yet another layer of review to an already cumbersome process," Brown wrote.
San Diego City Councilman Carl DeMaio said, "This was nothing more than a bill supported by pro-labor and those who want to limit competition and choices by consumers."
Bill Dombrowski, president and CEO of the California Retailers Association, said the veto sent a message that the state was open for business.
"This veto clearly preserves local authority to decide what businesses they want in their communities and empowers them to bring in more jobs, economic activity and revenue," Dombrowski said.
The bill was one of two major pieces of legislation authored by Vargas to be vetoed by the governor. The other would have prevented the building of a new landfill off Interstate 15 in rural North County.
"Research continues to show that supercenters cause business districts to suffer, significantly decrease the net number of jobs and often rely on taxpayer-funded government services, like Medicaid, to provide health care for their employees," Vargas said. "I will continue to work to make sure that our communities know the truth about these supercenters and how they claim to be creating jobs when actually they are destroying them."
Wal-Mart is currently in the planning stage for a supercenter in central San Diego.
Gov. Brown Vetoes Gregory Canyon Landfill Bill
Gov. Jerry Brown also vetoed a bill by Sen. Juan Vargas, D-San Diego that would have prevented construction of the Gregory Canyon landfill off Interstate 15 in the rural North County was vetoed, the governor's office announced on Monday.
SB 833 would have prohibited any landfill within 1,000 feet of the San Luis Rey River, or an aquifer feeding into the river, or from a site that is considered to be sacred or is of spiritual or cultural importance to a federally recognized Indian tribe, including the Pala Band of Mission Indians.
While growing San Diego County needs additional space for garbage refuse, the Gregory Canyon site near state Route 76 has been opposed by residents concerned about traffic congestion, environmentalists worried about the watershed and Native American groups who say the location is sacred.
The issue has twice gone before voters, who gave the project the green light both times. However, the project must still survive three major permit battles.
Brown wrote that the environmental review process before the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board is sufficient.
He wrote that he was "deeply concerned" over the objections regarding the sacred site, but he did not believe that the Legislature should overturn a land use decision that was debated over two decades.
The bill was one of two major pieces of legislation authored by Vargas, who could not be reached for immediate comment, to be vetoed by the governor.
The other would have required developers of big-box superstores to file costly reports on the economic impacts of their projects on surrounding neighborhoods.
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