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Oil rigs, tattoo parlors and landfills, oh my

October 18, 2010 | 11:10 am


So you're a cash-strapped California city. The Legislature borrowed your redevelopment funds. Your property tax revenues are nearly non-existent. You can barely afford to keep your libraries open and your police department up and running in this economy. What to do?

Rethink your ban on Wal-Mart, if you're Turlock, a Central Valley city that fought big-box stores five years ago. The city, desperate for cash, wants the revenues a big-box store could bring. Earlier leaders blocked big Wal-Marts, eventually prevailing in state and federal court.

Turlock isn't the only city changing its standards in this economy. Whittier wants to allow oil drilling. San Benito County wants more trash. Even the state is looking the other way as long-standard redevelopment policies are ignored, according to the California Development & Planning Report. But are these strategies smart economic policy in the long run?

Check out today's story for more.

-- Alana Semuels

Photo: A Wal-Mart in Rosemead. Credit: Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times