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2004-01-03
Kilbuck, PA. Residents In Nine Towns Organize Against Sprawl.

Concerned citizens from 9 Pennsylvania towns along the Ohio River corridor- Kilbuck, Aleppo, Avalon, Edgeworth, Emsworth, Glenfield, Ohio, Osborne and Sewickley -- have organized to stop big box sprawl. "Founded in February 2002 when we learned that a 204,000 square foot Wal-Mart Super Center and an adjacent 102,000 square foot strip mall was proposed for the former Dixmont State Hospital site. We have attained non-profit status, which vastly helps us in our fundraising, by affiliating ourselves with The Tides Foundation. We have obtained nearly 1200 petition signatures opposing the Wal-Mart. We held a community forum in December 2002 informing local citizens about the development, the legal requirements and our actions. We hosted a forum for local businesses in November 2003 to discuss likely impacts of the Wal-Mart on the business community and get their support. We have retained a prominent land use attorney, and a technical expert (engineer) who noted 74 code violations in the developers’ latest proposal. Kilbuck Twp approved the plan anyway. We then appealed Kilbuck Township’s approvals of the development plans on the plan's non-conformities with Kilbuck Twp’s own ordinances. We obtained a favorable ruling by the Court of Common Pleas last September nullifying the Township’s first plan approval. The Judge told both the developer and the township to start over. As of today, the project is no further along now than it was this time in 2002. We investigated and monitored environmental permit requirements.No permits have been issued by DEP. We wrote to PennDOT about traffic issues. The traffic study has not been approved and no Highway Occupancy Permit has been issued. To develop an alternative plan, we met with nonprofits, developers and others to discuss other viable options for the site, and arranged tours of the Dixmont site for developers and other interested parties. We have been contacting our State elected officials, including the Governor’s office to have them put some pressure on PennDot and DEP to not give in to the developer's persistent whining. The developer has not had his way with these agencies and is now going over the heads of the local bureaucrats to higher authorities. There are reports that they are using a former State Legislator as a lobbyist. We will try to confirm this connection and expose it.

What you can do: For an earlier story on this community, search this website by "Kilbuck". For local contacs, email info@sprawl-busters.com










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

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