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2005-07-07
Niagara Falls, NY Citizens Stall Wal-Mart Once Again In Court

Wal-Mart is over a barrel in Niagara Falls, New York. Two years ago, a group called the Citizens Against Sprawlmart blocked a Wal-Mart supercenter, and now they have resorted to legal action again. The group has sued the city and its planning board for approving a plan submitted by Benderson Development. City officials gave Benderson approval to build a 550,000 s.f. retail development, including a zoning change to allow the project to be subdivided. But a lawsuit is being filed this week in the State Supreme Court, the group's attorney, Alison L. Odojewski, told the Buffalo News. "The lawsuit is challenging the Planning Board's negative declaration under the State Environmental Quality Review Act as well as the City Council's amendment to the city zoning map," Odojewski said. Two years ago, the State's Supreme Court ruled that the Planning Board did not correctly follow state-mandated environmental review evaluations. This time around, the city used the developer's attorney to help them answer each question carefully. But the Citizens Against Sprawlmart say that a construction project of this magnitude should have been the subject of an environmental-impact statement, which the Planning Board did not do. Niagara Falls Mayor Vince Anello said he was "certainly disappointed" with the court appeal -- just as citizens are "certainly disappointed" in the Mayor's lack of research on the economic impacts of Wal-Mart on the welfare of his community.

What you can do: Wal-Mart stockholders take note: this citizen's group has already cost Wal-Mart more than $200 million in lost sales. Instead of going where it is wanted, Wal-Mart and its developers waste years in trying to break down the door, but all they are doing in busting down their sales, and consequently, confidence in their stock. Search Newsflash by "Benderson" to see this developers' unpopular track record in New York State and beyond.










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

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