Sprawl-Busters Newsflash Blog - Anti-Sprawl news since 1998.
Subscribe to Sprawl-Busters Blog Follow Sprawl Busters on Twitter
Occupy Walmart & Order Al's Books Movies Newsflash! The Case Against Sprawl Home Towns Not Home Depot Victories Your Battles About Us Contact Us  

recent news

List articles
by the month:

2017
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2016
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2015
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2014
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2013
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2012
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2011
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2010
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2009
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2008
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2007
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2006
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2005
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2004
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2003
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2002
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2001
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2000
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

1999
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

1998
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC


Search database by text:

2005-06-03
Newport News, VA. Residents Say Wal-Mart Picks Inappropriate Site

It's a common theme: Wal-Mart saturates an area with stores, and proceeds to propose more stores in more inappropriate locations. Here's a first hand account from a resident in Newsport News, Virginia: "Wal-mart is attempting to purchase 31 acres of a 72 acre parcel of land in Newport News. This 72 acre parcel is zoned Residential, with the 31 acres in question mostly zoned as "Medium Density Multiple Family Dwelling" with a density of "24 dwelling units per acre". They are attempting to have this land rezoned as "General Commercial" to construct a Wal-Mart Super Center with a gas station. This land borders the neighboring city next to a 45 mph limited access road called Hampton Roads Center Parkway, which connects the cities of Hampton and Newport News. This land also borders with residential neighborhoods. The area in general is zoned residential, with a few small local businesses that have been grandfathered. Most of the neighborhoods are zoned for Single Family Dwellings, with plots of land from 0.15 acres - 0.30 acres. The community came out against this proposal to rezone the land at the recent public hearing in front of the Newport News city planning commission on June 1, 2005. The issue did not come to a vote yet, mostly due to insufficient research on the current traffic in the area, the potential impact of the increased traffic, and some ecological issues concerning a species of rattlesnake. The case is still open and has been scheduled to continue at another city planning commission meeting on July 20th in order to allow time to further analyze the traffic and ecological situation. The location of this proposed Wal-mart is near 3 other Wal-Marts. There is another in Newport News, approximately 6 miles from this site. There is one in the neighboring city of Yorktown, about 4.5 miles from this site. There is one in the neighboring city of Hampton, about 6 miles from this site. The Yorktown and Newport News stores are about 3.5 miles apart. I realize that this proves that sprawl has already happened here, and we are already urban, but this is a case of a big-box business trying to invade a residential area, only to steal business from existing local businesses and from its own sister-stores. Most notably, this proposed site would place the Wal-mart just 0.3 miles from a local Farmer's Market grocery store, started by local grocer Earl Game, which he has owned and operated since 1972. In a comprehensive plan called the "Framework for the Future", adopted by the city on June 26, 2001, serving as the City's Comprehensive Plan, as of 2020 the majority of these 31 acres is slated to become an activity center at a level called "Neighborhood Center". In general, current Neighborhood centers are described in the Plan as varying in size from "the smalled center with convenience grocery and gasoline services to the largest with full-service grocery and drug stores." These centers "offer everyday goods and services to residents of one or more neighborhoods: neighborhood scale shopping, services, entertainment, recreation, office, employment and other activities." Although this would not be preferrable over either wooded land (as it is currently) or residential, this does not sound terribly invasive. A Wal-Mart, on the other hand, fits into the category of a Commercial Center, described by the plan as "larger in size and serve a bigger market area than neighborho! od centers. ... Land uses in community centers usually include retail stores, grocery stores, discount stores, specialty commercial stores and services, offices, restaurants, and movie theaters." I have not yet heard if there will be any organization of the public to petition against this. I am sure that there will be standing room only at the July 20th meeting of the city planning commission since word will have spread so that more than just the 3 or 4 closest neighborhoods will know about it."

What you can do: Residents of Newport News should not be punished because Wal-Mart Realty does not know how to read a zoning map, or review the comprehensive plan for the city. If they had done either, they would have left this residential land alone. As it stands, the neighbors have a good legal case that this development is out of synch with the city's Master Plan, incompatible with surrounding residential development, too intense for the parcel, and harmful to the value of existing property. Such evidence might not impress Wal-Mart, but it should make an impact on city planners. And if it doesn't, it might prove interesting to a superior court judge. To save everyone time and money, Wal-Mart should roll out the map again and look for land that's zoned commercial. For local contacts in Newport News, contact info@sprawl-busters.com.










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

info@sprawl-busters.com
Strategic Planning ~ Field Operations
Voter Campaigns 
21 Grinnell St, Greenfield ~ MA 01301
(413) 772-6289