The possibility of a Wal-Mart or any other big box retailer coming to the Ventura commercial sector is now in the hands of the voters.


Members of the Ventura City Council voted unanimously on Monday evening to place on the November 2009 ballot an initiative asking if retailers larger than 90,000 square feet should be allowed within Ventura city limits. The council opted for the ballot measure over enacting an official ordinance that would have taken effect after a 10-day period.


A Wal-Mart center has been proposed to take the place of the former K-Mart store on Victoria Avenue, prompting outcry from hundreds of Ventura activists from groups like the Stop Wal-Mart Coalition, Livable Ventura and CAUSE. They have opposed the retailer’s business practices and the threat of increased traffic congestion along the Victoria corridor, among other concerns.