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2004-09-03
Moken, IL. Wal-Mart Superstore Gets Cold Response in Village.

Mokena, IL. Fresh from defeat in Chicago, Wal-Mart has more problems in Illinois. Local residents in the village of Mokena, Illinois this week didn't warm up to the concept of a Wal-Mart superstore in their community. At a hearing on September 1st before the village's Concept Review Committee, most of the 200 people who showed up to testify trashed the concept of a 147,000 s.f. Wal-Mart on La Grange Road. Citizens did not take too kindly to the notion that this store could be expanded into a 202,000 s.f. superstore open round the clock. "I would never want to see a 24-hour store," one Concept committee member was quoted as saying in The Chicago Tribune. "I am not sure a 24-hour store would promote the image" of the village. As usual, Wal-Mart representatives tried to sell villagers on the notion that this Wal-Mart would have "a unique building style." The company also presented an economic study that predicted the store would generate $265,563 in property taxes, and $538,992 in state and local sales taxes. There was no independent confirmation of such numbers, however, and developers generally present simple gross revenue figures without offsetting totals with lost revenues as others stores fail, and leave uncalculated the costs of public safety (police crime units), road maintenance, etc.

What you can do: The simple reality is: there is no such thing as a "village superstore." This project is too large, and in the wrong location. Other than that, it's fine. The first thing officials in Mokena should do is ask the developer to underwrite the cost of a "peer review" of the economic impact statement produced by the applicant. As long as such studies are produced by the developer, the land use process in America will remain a seriously flawed process. The public's time is wasted by the presentation of biased, self-serving economic and traffic reports that all look like they were written in Lake Wobegon, where all the site plans are above average, and the economic impacts good looking.










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

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