Walmart has prevailed again in the continuing battle against its controversial proposed store in downtown LA's Chinatown.
A Los Angeles zoning official denied an appeal of the retailer's building permits. The appeal had been filed by the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance and by the Los Angeles Alliance for New Economy, which have concerns about the store impacting the historic neighborhood's identity, traffic, small businesses, and living wage.
However, Associate Zoning Administrator Maya Zaitzevsky issued a report Dec. 20 finding the Department of Building and Safety did not err or abuse its discretion when it issued the permits, the LA Weekly reports.
And despite this being the third unsuccessful attempt to stop the store, Gideon Kracov, attorney for the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, told the Los Angeles Times that the group would likely appeal again. It has until Jan. 4 to file an appeal to the Central Area Planning Commission, a panel whose five members are appointed by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.
In the meantime, the Walmart Neighborhood Mart, which is one-fifth the size of the retailer's big-box stores, has already hired employees for the new store and is on track to open its doors in March.
“We look forward to soon opening our doors and providing the community what they have wanted all along: a new choice for their grocery shopping needs,” Steven Restivo, Walmart’s senior director of community affairs, said in a statement.
In June, thousands of Angelenos marched through Chinatown to protest the proposed Walmart. Check out photos below: (photos by Kathleen Miles)