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Trader Joe's files lawsuit to stop petitioners in front of their stores

Trader Joe's grocery stores in San Diego ask judge to issue order stopping petition gatherers in front of their stores.
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On August 24, Trader Joe's filed a lawsuit to ban signature gatherers from using the front of their stores as places to approach people to sign petitions. 

The company has a policy that prohibits the gathering in this way according to NBC 7 but locations in Mission Valley, Point Loma, Pacific Beach and Hillcrest have reported that people were not following those rules. 

The petitions were in support of changing the recently approved rules for short-term vacation rentals, and one Hillcrest customer says she ran into them while shopping at the Hub last week.

"There were a lot of them. They were sort of crowded around here and getting into people's space,” said Heidi Wagner.

Trader Joe's filed the lawsuit against Airbnb and PCI Consultants; the firm behind gathering the signatures. Last week managers said they did see a decline in the activity. 

However this past Thursday the referendum effort had gathered over 62,000 signatures and officials presented them to the county Registrar of Voters. 

The petition might force the city council to re-examine and possibly repeal short-term restrictions or let voters decide.  

This past Thursday Airbnb released a statement:

"Today, the Judge declined to grant Trader Joe’s request. Tens of thousands of San Diegans signed a petition because they want fair, reasonable regulations that protect their right to share their homes and make ends meet."

If the presented signatures are valid and there are enough of them, the legislation would then got to a public vote, possibly in 2020.