Escondido city council allows 99 Cents Only Store downtown - San Diego, California Talk Radio Station - 760 KFMB AM - 760kfmb

Escondido city council allows 99 Cents Only Store downtown

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ESCONDIDO (CBS 8) - Opponents say a bargain store will cheapen downtown Escondido, but supporters say the cheap deals bring all types of customers.

On Wednesday, the Escondido City Council approved allowing a 99 Cents Only store in the Civic Center Plaza in downtown.

A few years ago, the city started banning fixed-price stores in certain areas including downtown to prevent an over-concentration of stores.

"We need to be fair to everybody," said Mayor Sam Abed.

Councilor Ed Gallo says it's not excluding 99 Cents Only stores but says they need to look at moving in spaces where they allowed.

"It's not a permitted use where they want to go," said Gallo.

The attorney for the company says this store will bring 50 to 60 jobs and attract 12,000 customers in the area including $300,000 in sales tax money.

"At the end of the day it really comes down to a planning issue and a community issue and I think the demands here," said Marco A. Gonzalez.

The mayor and Gallo voted against it.

Deputy Mayor Olga Diaz and Councilors John Masson and Michael Morasco approved the store's location at 385 N. Escondido Boulevard.

"I don't see it as being something as being a detriment, I see it as something as being positive for our city," said Morasco.

"It is more of a nicer area there so it was surprising to me to know that they would want to put that store there," said store shopper Damion Howell.

He lives across from the 99 Cents Only store on East Valley Parkway and says since it opened there it has brought down his neighborhood.

"It does attract lower end," said Howell.

Another shopper says he disagrees and believes times are changing and discount stores are appealing to many customers.

"They single out these stores assuming that it attracts certain people, people are just looking for bargains now. It doesn't matter your income they are just looking for a bargain," said Roberto Rocha.

The vote to approve the 99 Cents Only store is an exception and the ban on fixed-price stores is still in place in certain areas of Escondido. Developers say they plan to open the store by the summer.

The existing fixed-price stores in Escondido are exempt from the ordinance.

Vista also has a similar ban.

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