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2004-08-14
South Harpeth, TN. Wal-Mart Opposition Overflows

People who don't want a Wal-Mart superstore packed the South Harpeth, Tennessee Civic Club this week, determined to block any effort to locate a huge store at the corners of Highway 96 and 100. A developer, the CMB Corporation, has purchased 300 acres described by the local newspaper as "pristine." A neighborhood group against the plan, the Fox Hollow Farms Homeowners Association, says the over-sized store will ruin the rural nature of the land and pollute the six blue line streams that run through the property, and on to the South Harpeth River. Wal-Mart has been fined by the EPA for polluting rivers and stream near its construction sites. The Association says that taxpayers will feel the financial burden of having to widen route 100 to accomodate Wal-Mart's traffic. They also claim that the company has been working behind the scenes to avoid public involvement in their plans. "It's as if the corporation attempts to have everything, like zoning changes, in place before few are aware of what's happening," a Fox Hollow Farms member said. "That way, it's too late to protest the action." Neighbors say they are now on the alert for any land-clearing activity at the site. The South Harpeth landa use plan for Subarea 6 lists this area as a "Natural Conservation Overlay" designed to protect the fragile environment. The Harpeth River Watershed Association has also joined the anti-Wal-Mart coalition, sponsoring a fund-raising effort to block the superstore. Residenets are also circulating petitions in Williamson and Davidson counties to protest proposed zoning changes necessary for a Walmart at the site.

What you can do: It is a sudden and abrupt change to rezone land from a Natural Conservation area to large scale big box retail. The City is under no mandate to rezone land for any developer. The homeowners living near this site have every right to hold the city to its Subarea Plan. They bought into the neighborhood with the expectation that the land in question would be maintained in its natural state, not rezoned to build the area's largest superstore. There is no such thing as a "pristine" Wal-Mart supercenter, and if the city denies the rezoning request, the developer would have a hard time in court, because he would have to show that it was arbitrary to keep a Natural Conservation Overlay zone in effect. Wal-Mart knew, or should have known, that this land was simply not correctly zoned. For local contacts in South Harpeth, contact info@sprawl-busters.com










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

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