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2003-05-15
Blue Springs, MO. Wal-Mart gets the Blues in Blue Springs.

There was no party mood at Wal-Mart this week in Blue Springs, Missouri.According to The Examiner newspaper, the Planning Commission in Blue Springs, voted 5-3 to reject a proposed Wal-Mart supercenter. In defense of her vote to deny Wal-Mart, one Commission member said: "I don't want to lose another store in Blue Springs that contributes to our community." The proposed 200,000 s.f. supercenter varied dramatically from a plan for the parcel that was passed in 1998, and featured a number of smaller retail buildings, no larger than 60,000 square feet. "If we are to be trusted as a city, we must honor our agreement," one commissioner said. "I think that we have a duty to protect the welfare of our community." Residents in the abutting Stone Creek Homeowner's Association, took strong exception to the supercenter, which engineers tried to hide from the homeowners by proposing a 16 foot mound of earth and a 6 foot high concrete fence on top of the berm. Neighbors also took issue with the fact that Wal-Mart already has a discount store along the same stretch of road, which Wal-Mart claimed was "too small", and the fact that a Kmart closed in the same area. Traffic was also a major concern, with Wal-Mart projecting 14,300 cars per day to the site. At the hearing, only one person spoke in favor of the plan -- a Wal-Mart employee -- who presented a petition with 1,600 signatures from people who had signed the document while shopping at the existing Wal-Mart in Blue Springs. Wal-Mart now has one more shot to influence the City Council on June 2nd. Wal-Mart told the newspaper there is a delicate balance between the needs of neighbors and the needs of the greater community. "They have to respect the wishes of the people," said Wal-Mart PR staffer Keith Morris. "We have 1,600 signatures of people that would like to see it." Local residents told Sprawl-Busters that Wal-Mart proponents "resorted to theft and property damage in an attempt to prevent the residents from advertising the Planning Meeting. The land owner was caught on film removing and destroying signage on city property and then tried to claim, falsely, that they were mowing. Wal-mart had an in-store signup sheet complete with the picture of the new store WITHOUT a location, then they would only allowed supporters to sign the sheet and told opponents that they couldn't. They later claimed at the planning meeting that it was a petition and only had 3 people against the SuperCenter. Also, some of Wal-mart's hired guns were less then shining, as the attorney could not get the sub-division's name correct."

What you can do: For more background and local contacts in Blue Springs, contact info@sprawl-busters.com










 
 
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