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2003-04-29
Blue Springs, MO. Wal-Mart Has Blue Springs Neighbors Seeing Red.

It's any homeowner's nightmare. Anti-sprawl activists in Missouri filed the following report of a new battle against an old foe: "Residents of several neighborhoods in Blue Springs Missouri are attempting to prevent the addition of a new, 206,000 sq. ft., 24 Hour Wal-Mart Supercenter (a 200% increase in retail volume) within a few hundred feet of a quiet residential neighborhood. Residents of the nearby neighborhoods have held 3 meetings with representatives of the real estate brokerage working with Wal-Mart and city council representatives to voice concerns. Blue Springs currently has a 130,000 sq. ft. Wal-Mart less than 3 miles away from the proposed site, which will be vacated if the new Supercenter is completed. This vacancy will add to the "urban blight" at the corner of 40 Highway and 7 Highway: a shopping center is nearly empty, the K Mart has closed, a brand new strip shopping center remains unfilled. The site of the new Supercenter is within 3 blocks of a middle school, and a short distance from 3 elementary schools. School buses and children walking home from school will encounter a huge increase in traffic, making safety an issue. Since no provisions have been proposed to handle the increased traffic, children playing in their own neighborhood (StoneCreek, Kensington, SouthGate Hills, Brookshire, Cherokee Estates) will be in danger from the flood of shoppers driving thru the residential streets. Wal-Mart is a notoriously bad neighbor-the new Supercenter will be in the back yards of the homes in StoneCreek and StoneHaven. The StoneCreek homes will enjoy a view of the back of the Supercenter from their second-floor decks. Even though a berm and fence are slated to be installed, the building will still be quite visible. The lights, noise, trash, and constant activity will serve to lower property values in these, as well as other nearby neighborhoods. Several homeowners have considered selling already, with at least one putting their property up for sale.There are currently two grocery stores (Hy-Vee and Price Chopper) near the existing Wal-Mart. If the proposed Supercenter is approved, that addition of a third grocer will certainly result in the loss of one of these established businesses, due to the well-known Wal-Mart way of doing business. Additionally, the current Wal-Mart is south of the city center. The proposed Supercenter would be located even further south, leaving the north side of town with more difficult access, and the south side of town facing ever increasing traffic that the area is not prepared to handle. Wal-Mart's proposal will be presented to the City Planning Commission for approval on May 12.

What you can do: If city officials in Blue Springs are foolish enough to give a green light to Wal-Mart, the existing Wal-Mart discount store is likely to go dark. The state of Missouri is already carrying 11 dead Wal-Mart stores, totaling 755,323 s.f of wasted space. Six of those 11 dead stores in Missouri have been vacant for at least 4 years, since we surveyed the "dark stores" list in 1999. For contacts in the Blue Springs battle, contact info@sprawl-busters.com










 
 
"Norman has become the guru of the anti-Wal-Mart movement" ~ 60 Minutes

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