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2003-11-05
Lakeway, TX. Voters Reject Big Box Developments by 72% Margin.

At the ballot box on November 4th, residents in Lakeway, Texas pushed big box retailers into the Lake. Sprawl-busters in the group Lakeway First issued the following press release: "In what is being hailed as a victory for Lakeway’s traditional small-town values, voters overwhelmingly defeated a non-binding referendum that would have allowed big-box development in Lakeway. Had the referendum passed, it would have paved the way for a proposed development that included a 184,000 sq. ft. Wal-Mart SuperCenter. The voters, who overflowed city facilities on Tuesday, rejected the measure by a margin of 72%. The vote of 1,880 against and 742 for the referendum was the largest turnout ever in a Lakeway election, totaling over 38% of registered voters, a particularly impressive total in a town with significant numbers of non-resident and elderly citizens. Because the referendum was non-binding, Lakeway residents will have to wait until the city council meeting of November 17th to learn the ultimate fate of the proposal. At that time the Lakeway city council will be able to adhere to the will of the citizens by voting to defeat the proposed large retail zoning classification, or by taking no action and allowing it to die. Either of these options would leave the current size limit of 100,000 sq. ft. in place, effectively prohibiting any plans for big-box development within Lakeway city limits. LakewayFirst expects that the council will choose one of these alternatives rather than passing the ordinance change in defiance of public sentiment. However, LakewayFirst has vowed to remain vigilant, and will attend the November 17th meeting to ensure that the council honors the voters’ mandate. They are confident that the council members will act with integrity and that the recall petitions will once again remain in the briefcase. The real victory here is for Lakeway citizens, who took the initiative to shape the future of their city through proactive involvement in the democratic process. Yesterday’s vote followed months of dedicated efforts by citizens and LakewayFirst supporters and volunteers. LakewayFirst members cheered, hugged, and cried tears of joy and relief upon receiving news of the results late last night. "This is what we wanted, the citizens have spoken, and they have sent a clear, unequivocal message" affirmed one jubilant member." According to the American-Statesman newspaper, residents "soundly rejected a zoning referendum that would have allowed commercial development up to 200,000 square feet. The referendum grew out of community opposition to a proposed WalMart Supercenter in Lakeway along RM 620."

What you can do: Another Wal-Mart gets Slam-Dunked. Even though deep-pocketed developers and misguided local officials make a powerful coaltion, the voice of the people still can be heard in small towns like Lakeway, Texas. For local contacts, email info@sprawl-busters.com.










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

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