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2003-05-30
Gainsville. FL. Wal-Mart Gets No Gain in Gainsville.

Local residents in Gainsville, Florida sent the following report about a key Wal-Mart defeat in their community. A proposed 207,000 s.f. superstore in northwest Gainsville was rejected by the Gainsville City Commission May 28th. Here is the citizens' report: "A coalition of neighbors and local businesses defeated a proposed comprehensive plan amendment for a SuperWal-Mart in Gainseville, Florida. The City Commission voted 4 to 3 this week to deny to the amendment. The key issues were: Impact on local retail supported by an economic study; The proposed location is environmentally sensitive and Wal-Mart's track record on these matters is questionable; The abandonment of the local Wal-Mart two miles from the proposed SuperCenter; The Wal-Mart representative did not answer forthrightly questions concerning the proposed relocating of the Sam's Club near the existing Wal-Mart. The unequivocal obfuscation by Wal-Mart cost them a crucial vote on the City Commission. Wal-Mart plans to step over the city limits and permit 2-3 locations on county property." One of the Commissioners said he was concerned about building a supercenter near the headwaters of Hogtown Creeks. A second Commmissioner said he had remaining questions about the economic impact of the proposal. A Wal-Mart spokesman tried to convince local officials that the project would be a gain for Gainsville. "Wal-Mart is an economic engine for your city, no doubt about it," Wal-Mart said. But the Commissioners apparently did doubt it, and expressed concerns about what would happen to the existing Wal-Mart store nearby. Wal-Mart claimed that Home Depot was interested in leasing their existing discount store. But one Commissioner replied: "Home Depot means nothing to us till there's something legal," he said. The Commission's vote is the second setback for Wal-Mart. Last April the Gainsville Plan Board voted 3-1 against the proposed land use changes, saying the Wal-Mart would promote sprawl, and had failed to win over the local neighborhood. At the hearing this week, community groups denounced the plan. The head of a group called Women for Wise Growth called the Wal-Mart a "large economic wasteland." One resident who lives next to the site, simply said: "I like Wal-Mart, but I don't want them for a neighbor."

What you can do: For local contacts in the Gainsville defeat of Wal-Mart, contact info@sprawl-busters.com










 
 
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