KPFA Morning Show
Wednesday, July 7th: Bay Area anti-Wal-Mart
Coalition Co-Chair Paul Kaplan and California
Healthy Communities Network Executive Director Phil
Tucker were interviewed by labor journalist David
Bacon on the KPFA Morning Show today, Wednesday,
July 7th. The segment focused on Bay Area
anti-Wal-Mart superstore campaigns in the cities of
Rohnert Park, Milpitas, and Antioch.
To hear the program click on the link below and
scroll about one-half hour into the KPFA Morning
DENIES WAL-MART EXPANSION
by Ian Bauer, Milpitas
San Jose Mecury News
"The end result of our meeting tonight is the
Walmart expansion is denied," said Mayor Bob
Livengood to the hundreds of Walmart supporters and
opponents who crammed into the Milpitas City Hall
Council Chambers Tuesday night.
Milpitas City Council voted 4-1 June 1, with
Councilwoman Debbie Giordano dissenting, to overturn
on appeal Milpitas Planning Commission's prior
approval to allow Walmart to build a nearly
18,500-square-foot addition to allow liquor sales,
groceries and 24-hour operation at 301 Ranch Drive.
Months of debate followed by three hours of
testimony from more than 50 speakers at the meeting
culminated in applause after the council's ruling.
Appellant group Milpitas Coalition for a Better
Community a loosely knit band of Milpitas and San
Jose residents and labor representatives was
formally opposed to what many in the group called
Walmart's job-killing Supercenter that would destroy
smaller local businesses, create more traffic, air
pollution and crime and ruin the city's overall
quality of life.
The local anti-Walmart group claimed the project's
final environmental impact report and conditional
use permit for the expansion should not have been
certified, that the project did not meet the
requirements of the California Environmental Quality
Act, and the project was inconsistent with state and
local planning and zoning laws.
Prior to the council vote, Walmart representatives
and Milpitas Coalition members were granted 15
minutes each to present their respective sides on an
expansion that aimed to add to the southern portion
of Walmart's existing 131,725-square-foot store,
expanding the business to nearly 150,200 square
"We are concerned that our community will be
negatively impacted by this expansion," Arthur
Balangue, a Milpitas Coalition spokesman and Save
Mart employee, told the council.
Balangue said Milpitas was "already over-served by
supermarkets" that sold groceries and fresh produce
and added Walmart's planned Supercenter would kill
jobs at other stores such as Save Mart. "The single
fact is if this expansion is approved it will close
down more stores," Balangue said.
Conversely, Walmart representatives said the
Milpitas store was popular among residents, that it
had been a community partner for years donating
monies to the city and community groups since it
opened here in 1994, and they urged the council to
uphold the prior ruling.
"We were very pleased with the planning commission's
decision and hope you will also vote for this small
expansion and move this project forward," Angie
Stoner, a Walmart spokesperson, told the council.
Stoner added the new store would provide a more
customer friendly shopping experience with a deli, a
bakery and fresh produce. She added the opposition's
opinions of Walmart were based on perceptions: "And
their aim is to keep out competition."
In addition, she noted that Target would soon open a
"super store" a couple of miles away in North San
Jose off state Route 237 that could potentially suck
more sales tax dollars from City of Milpitas. Stoner
said Walmart contributes about $500,000 in sales tax
to the city's coffers.
"As the mayor and council, you all want to keep your
tax dollars local," Stoner said.
But the majority of people who came to the meeting
many wearing fluorescent yellow and green "Say No To
Walmart" stickers on their chests said a bigger
Walmart would be detrimental to the city.
"Obviously, this store will not pay good wages to
anybody," Jose Garcia, a Milpitas resident, said.
"There's no wealth, no good paying jobs here."
Opponents also said Walmart destroys choice and
competition with its "predatory pricing" tactics.
"Maybe it helps some people, but it hurts a lot of
us in the long run," Debbie Rankin, a Milpitas
resident, said. Others cited crime as a factor.
"A 24-hour operation in a remote part of town is
asking for trouble," Greg Reeves, a Save Mart
Phil Tucker, a California Healthy Communities
Network representative, said other Walmart
Supercenter stores including one in American Canyon
had dramatically increased crime in that area.
Speakers also cited inadequate pay to those people
"This is about values, this is about wages and
benefits and this is still the most expensive place
to live," Brian O'Neil, a Service Employees
International Union county chapter chair, said.
O'Neil added Walmart's project conflicted with the
Milpitas General Plan and did not promote business
Raymond Quebec, a Save Mart bagger, said Walmart's
expansion would close businesses here and leave City
of Milpitas more vulnerable and dependent for sales
tax dollars from the big box retailer.
"As those businesses close, Walmart will be even
more important to Milpitas," Quebec said. "We'll be
forced to give in to whatever they need... I ask you
to vote no' and keep Walmart small and manageable."
Walmart supporters many wearing white, blue and
yellow "Walmart" stickers on their chests stated the
store is inexpensive and convenient.
A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF
CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT AMENDMENT NO. UA09-0002, SITE
PERMIT AMENDMENT NO. SA09-0003, WALMART EXPANSION
PROJECT, A REQUEST
TO ALLOW FOR AN 18,457 SQUARE FOOT BUILDING
EXPANSION TO ACCOMMODATE
GROCERY AND ALCOHOL SALES AND FOR THE INSTALLATION
BUILDING AND SITE IMPROVEMENTS FOR THE PROPERTY
LOCATED AT 301 RANCH
DRIVE (APN 22-29-016), MILPITAS, CA 95035.
WHEREAS, on January 26, 2009, Walmart Stores, Inc.,
submitted an application to the City of
Milpitas for an amendment to its current site
development permit to allow for an 18,457 square
foot building expansion, remodel of the exterior
building fašade, installation of associated site
improvements, replacement of existing signage with
Walmart's new corporate branding, and an amendment
to its current conditional use permit to allow for
grocery and alcohol sales. The property is located
within the General Commercial Zoning District and
Site and Architectural Overlay (C2-S); and
WHEREAS, on March 24, 2010, the Milpitas Planning
Commission held a duly noticed public
hearing on the Project's development application and
approved the application, subject to conditions of
WHEREAS, on April 1, 2010, the Milpitas Coalition
for a Better Community filed an appeal of
the Planning Commission approval. The City Council
reviewed the application for hearing de novo and
held a duly noticed public hearing on the matter on
June 1, 2010 and considered public testimony and
reviewed various written submissions and materials
and the underlying record.
NOW, THEREFORE, the City Council of the City of
Milpitas hereby finds, determines, and
resolves as follows:
1. The City Council has considered the full record
before it, which may include but is not
limited to such things as the staff report,
testimony by staff and the public, and other
materials and evidence submitted or provided to it.
Furthermore, the recitals set forth
above are found to be true and correct and are
incorporated herein by reference.
2. The project is inconsistent with the Milpitas
General Plan as follows:
a. The project does not encourage stable and
balanced economic pursuits which
strengthen and promote development, contrary to
b. The project does not promote a strong economy
which provides economic
opportunities for all Milpitas residents within the
existing environmental, social fiscal
and land use constraints, contrary to Policy
c. The project does not promote the creation of a
balanced economic base that can resist
downturns in any one economic sector, contrary to
d. The project does not provide opportunities to
expand total employment in Milpitas
and promote business retention, contrary to Policy
e. The project does not foster community pride and
growth through sufficient
beautification of existing development, contrary to
f. The project would draw community, economic and
business focus away from Town
Center and Midtown, contrary to General Plan.
1 Resolution No. ____
3. The proposed location of the project will be
injurious or detrimental to property,
improvements, and/or the public health, safety, and
general welfare. The project would
cause urban decay and neighborhood deterioration
impacts that cannot be adequately
mitigated through conditions of approval.
4. Based on the foregoing findings and the evidence
in the record, the City Council hereby
denies the application for Conditional Use Permit
Amendment No. UA09-0002 and Site
Development Permit Amendment No. SA09-0003.
PASSED AND ADOPTED this day of June 1st, 2010, by a