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MARTINEZ, CA-The Martinez City Council, after reviewing the restrictive “big-box” ordinance it passed a few weeks ago, formally adopted the policy at a meeting this week. But Wal-Mart, the city’s single big-box store, says that the ordinance is anti-competitive.

The “big-box” ordinance was created to protect local businesses, such as grocers and shopping centers, against non-union retail giants. The legislation will restrict these big-box retailers with more than 90,000 sf from including more than 5% of nontaxable items, such as food products, in their stores.

Mayor Michael Menesini, who says that it is the responsibility of the city and government to zone and regulate, created the ordinance, which will be effective after 30 days.

However, Wal-Mart plans to seek a referendum, which will put the issue to Martinez voters. The retail chain recently opened a 125,000-sf store in Martinez–the first “big-box” store in the area. A Wal-Mart representative says that the company is against these types of ordinances, viewing the legislation as anti-competitive.

While the Martinez Wal-Mart has no immediate plans to venture into the grocery business anytime soon, the company is unhappy that it would be restricted from future endeavors. The company took over a Costco permit, when it moved into the area that allows it to sell groceries.

While some Martinez residents feel that the ordinance is necessary to protect smaller local businesses, others spoke out at the city council meeting, saying that the city needs big businesses, as well. Still, at the end of the meeting, 38 people said that they approved of the ordinance and only 13 opposed it.

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