4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Walmart to Open in Encinitas, Despite Objections

Walmart has snuck in through the back door of Encinitas, almost unnoticed. The giant retailer has already pulled permits to start construction at a vacant 105,000-square-foot store on the corner of Leucadia Boulevard and Calle Barcelona.

To the chagrin of many Encinitas residents, Walmart avoided the public review process by negotiating directly with the building's leaseholder, Home Depot. Even though it closed its Expo store over three years ago, Home Depot still maintained the lease on the building. By not proposing a new building (the site is in the already heavily commercialized Encinitas Ranch Specific Plan area), Walmart was able to abide by zoning regulations.

On Wednesday, September 28, the city council informed the 20 residents who showed up at the meeting that there was nothing the city could do to stop Walmart. After the lease arrangement between Home Depot and Walmart was a done deal, Walmart approached the city and was able to meet all zoning and building codes by not proposing a change to the exterior of the building. The only change required is the walling off of 8000 square feet of floor space, making it an unusable “dead zone”; the reduction of the store's area will bring Walmart into compliance with the required five parking spaces for every 1000 square feet.

The six speakers that addressed the council, including former mayor Sheila Cameron, demanded that the city take action. One said that Home Depot ignored the 150 letters opposing the lease deal. A representative from the Leucadia Town Council said she had never received as many emails as she had about the Walmart issue. Another speaker said the UltraStar Cinemas chain expressed an interest in the Expo building, but Home Depot did not negotiate with them.

The city's attorney said that since Walmart has met all zoning requirements and the 15-day window for a citizen-filed appeal expired last week, there was nothing the city could do. Two councilpersons advised the residents opposed to Walmart to not shop there.

My February 27, 2010, article followed up on a rumor that Walmart was coming to Encinitas. At that time, Encinitas head planner Tom Curriden denied anyone in his department had formally talked to Walmart — contrary to an item written by a well-connected columnist for the Coast News.

In recent years, residents in San Marcos and Inglewood have succeeded in stopping Walmart with citizen-backed ballot initiatives. Last year, San Diego backed off on its proposed legislation against “big box” retailers after Walmart announced a legal challenge to the ordinance.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

When burrito met Philly at El Pollo Grill

“You’ve never had better meat in a burrito.”
Next Article

San Diego's vinyl records surge, but why?

A talk with owners of Re-animated, Folk Arts, Lou's, Beat Box

Walmart has snuck in through the back door of Encinitas, almost unnoticed. The giant retailer has already pulled permits to start construction at a vacant 105,000-square-foot store on the corner of Leucadia Boulevard and Calle Barcelona.

To the chagrin of many Encinitas residents, Walmart avoided the public review process by negotiating directly with the building's leaseholder, Home Depot. Even though it closed its Expo store over three years ago, Home Depot still maintained the lease on the building. By not proposing a new building (the site is in the already heavily commercialized Encinitas Ranch Specific Plan area), Walmart was able to abide by zoning regulations.

On Wednesday, September 28, the city council informed the 20 residents who showed up at the meeting that there was nothing the city could do to stop Walmart. After the lease arrangement between Home Depot and Walmart was a done deal, Walmart approached the city and was able to meet all zoning and building codes by not proposing a change to the exterior of the building. The only change required is the walling off of 8000 square feet of floor space, making it an unusable “dead zone”; the reduction of the store's area will bring Walmart into compliance with the required five parking spaces for every 1000 square feet.

The six speakers that addressed the council, including former mayor Sheila Cameron, demanded that the city take action. One said that Home Depot ignored the 150 letters opposing the lease deal. A representative from the Leucadia Town Council said she had never received as many emails as she had about the Walmart issue. Another speaker said the UltraStar Cinemas chain expressed an interest in the Expo building, but Home Depot did not negotiate with them.

The city's attorney said that since Walmart has met all zoning requirements and the 15-day window for a citizen-filed appeal expired last week, there was nothing the city could do. Two councilpersons advised the residents opposed to Walmart to not shop there.

My February 27, 2010, article followed up on a rumor that Walmart was coming to Encinitas. At that time, Encinitas head planner Tom Curriden denied anyone in his department had formally talked to Walmart — contrary to an item written by a well-connected columnist for the Coast News.

In recent years, residents in San Marcos and Inglewood have succeeded in stopping Walmart with citizen-backed ballot initiatives. Last year, San Diego backed off on its proposed legislation against “big box” retailers after Walmart announced a legal challenge to the ordinance.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

The city of San Diego and San Diego Unified plan 45 new parks

But no more more joint-use accords for District 8
Next Article

Oceanside drug addict loses third child

Newborn bleeds to death
Comments
6

This is a tough one. That huge structure sitting empty was a real waste. The city is very hungry for sales tax, and a Wally's World is typically a big generator of revenue for the host city. Yep, Walmart pulled a fast one, totally legally, on that one. They had been coveting Encinitas or almost-Encinitas (the Rancho Santa Fe road location just over in San Marcos) for a long time. With the added traffic that a WM will pull into that area, many other retailers will probably benefit. Nothing was mentioned in this piece as to whether it will be a Walmart Supercenter (the type with the full offering of food) or a regular store (which now offers quite a bit of food.)

There may be hell to pay about this with the locals, but I have a hunch it will happen.

As far as Ultra-Star Cinemas being interested in the site, keep in mind that they just recently closed up three theater multiplexes in coastal north county. If they were really "interested" they would have acted, and this Walmart deal would have never been made.

Sept. 29, 2011

What's sad is that it will drive away the current customers of the other established shops there (REI, Pei Wei, Islands) because of the chaotic traffic and slummy standards that Wal-Mart is famous for.

I, personally, will never go to that center again. I used to go at least once a week. I also will not go to the Home Depot in Encinitas ever again.

In the end, it will turn the entire area there into a completely different feel. If I lived in La Costa Valley across the street, I would be livid and boycott Encinitas altogether.

Shame on you, Encinitas City Council. You should have gone above and beyond to make citizens aware of the filing instead of allowing these bullies to sneak in without any real notice.

Sept. 29, 2011

You are entitled to your opinion and you can refuse to shop anywhere and everywhere. The "slummy standards" to which you refer tend to vary from Walmart to Walmart. In truth, the landlord has plenty to do with the conditions in the parking lot, and if it wants to do so, can insist that Walmart keep the lot very clean. There is a world of difference between two Walmarts in highway 78. The newer one off of College Blvd seems much cleaner and more inviting than the one off Sycamore in Vista.

There is a vast amount of parking in front of that former Expo Design building, and the danger of patrons of REI and the eateries you mention having no place to park is most unlikely. In fact, I predict that REI will see an increase in sales due to all the additional traffic into and out of the center.

You are right that the city council should have publicized this far more than it did, and allowed more public comment. That city government secretly welcomes this because of all the sales tax revenue it will bring. The council members can talk out of both sides of their mouths on this one. But those who vocally favored it may have to kiss their council seats goodbye come next election.

Sept. 29, 2011

Hey Visduh, The store is too small for a full sized WM grocery store. But WM has been opening some smaller stores recently, realizing they are losing business from people that can't just run in for a few items anymore becuase of the large size. I think they are understanding that they can't be all things to all people, like the remodeled Oceanside store took out its paint and yardage departments. You can't mix and sell paint as well as HD or Lowes, so use the space for something others can't sell, like $5.00 tennis shoes.

Sept. 29, 2011

I've heard that that elimination of the yardage and a few other steps were a Wal-Mart attempt to go upscale, and those changes backfired, and that they've reinstated them. Who actually sews nowadays? Someone does for sure. What store was it that WM remodeled? The oldest in north county is the store in Vista that was recently expanded into a Supercenter. They're remodeling stores that have scarcely had the paint dry?

I have noted that the newest store in Oceanside, the one off College Blvd, has no auto center. No tires, no batteries, and no oil changes. Was that an attempt to go upscale for the Carlsbad folks, the ones that store was really intended to serve?

Sept. 30, 2011
This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.
Sept. 19, 2019

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close