This ruling means that if they still want to put a Dollar General in here in Joshua Tree the developer will have to start the permit process pretty much all over again, only this time they will be required to do a very expensive Environmental Impact Report (EIR), which they didn’t have to do previously. They can also appeal this ruling, but apparently these kinds of rulings are rarely overturned in appeal. We’ll see what happens next. This battle has been going on for almost three years now and WE ARE WINNING.

Press release via the Joshua Tree Downtown Business Alliance website

Joshua Tree, California wins a key court battle against corporate predator, Dollar General.

Joshua Tree, California, a small, unincorporated desert community and the Gateway to Joshua Tree National park, is engaged in a nearly three-year struggle to preserve its unique community character, and so far it’s winning. Small, local business owners and residents in Joshua Tree, 150 miles east of Los Angeles, won a key court fight against San Bernardino County and discount retailer Dollar General, which wants to build an outlet in the iconic tourist village. The store would be the fourth Dollar General serving the community of about 8,000 and surrounding towns, in addition to a Walmart Supercenter only four short miles from downtown Joshua Tree.

“Tourists, campers, rock climbers, bird watchers, artists–they all come to Joshua Tree National Park to get away, and they stay, eat and shop in the town of Joshua Tree because we offer something different, something charming and authentic that they cannot find in most cookie cutter towns around here,” said Celeste Doyle of the Joshua Tree Downtown Business Alliance (JTDBA), which brought the suit. “Our local economy and tourism appeal depend on our unique character.”

San Bernardino County Superior Court Judge Donald R. Alvarez agreed the store could put the town’s economy at risk. Judge Alvarez recently ordered the County to conduct an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) to determine whether business and property owners would suffer economic harm from the proposed 9,100 square foot formula retail chain store. Dollar General, a $17.5 billion public company with 11,000 stores in 40 states, will pay for the EIR…

Read the entire press release and the court’s 41-page writ and judgement:


About Jay Babcock

I am the co-founder and editor of Arthur Magazine (2002-2008, 2012-13) and curator of the three Arthur music festival events (Arthurfest, ArthurBall, and Arthur Nights) (2005-6). Prior to that I was a district office staffer for Congressman Henry A. Waxman, a DJ at Silver Lake pirate radio station KBLT, a copy editor at Larry Flynt Publications, an editor at Mean magazine, and a freelance journalist contributing work to LAWeekly, Mojo, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Vibe, Rap Pages and many other print and online outlets. An extended piece I wrote on Fela Kuti was selected for the Da Capo Best Music Writing 2000 anthology. In 2006, I was one of five Angelenos listed in the Music section of Los Angeles Magazine's annual "Power" issue. In 2007-8, I produced a blog called "Nature Trumps," about the L.A. River. Today, I live a peaceful life in the rural wilderness of Joshua Tree, California, where I am a partner in with Stephanie Smith.
This entry was posted in blight, Dollar General, Joshua Tree Downtown Business Alliance, news and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. undercoverofthestars says:

    What great news and such a well written article. Thank you soooo much Jay for sending the good news! xg

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