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1998-12-01
St. Petersburg, Fl. Slam-Dunking Wal-Mart.

In a recent newsflash, we reported that the Planning Commission in St.Petersburg, FL voted against Wal-Mart's proposal to rezone land for a superstore, leaving the company with 10 days to appeal the decision to the City Council. Several days after the Commission vote, Wal-Mart's lawyer told the St.Petersburg Times that Wal-Mart had decided not to contest the Planning Commission vote. Libby Steele, the Vice President of the Lakewood Civic Association told the paper: "I think we did our homework, and we tried not to be mean and nasty and put anybody down, and we just spoke from our heart." But at least one group must have felt a little put down. The Bethel Community Baptist Church, which owned the land, stood to make a small fortune off the sale to Wal-Mart, and before that to Winn-Dixie. The Reverend Manuel Sykes said he was "disappointed" with the residents of Lakewood. "What I saw in there (the Planning Commission meeting) was hatred and selfishness. That part is disappointing when I see a lack of Christian spirit in the community." Perhaps area residents felt it was not Christian spirit, but greed, that motivated the proposed project. Sykes said his congregation was "going to pray about it and seek the best thing to do with the property for ourselves, and for the community." The church's lawyer summed up the situation succinctly: "If Wal-Mart with their resources and their success rate has determined not to appeal, I would recommend that they are facing an uphill battle...What happened here is that the Planning Commission slam-dunked the world's largest retailer..."

What you can do: For more information about the St. Petersburg victory over Wal-Mart, contact Mary O'Toole, 1428 Alhambra Way South, St.Petersburg, FL 33705-4624










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

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