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2005-07-14
Papillion, NB The ”Papillion 11” Hold Wal-Mart At Bay

From the heartland of America, here's another David v. Goliath story from Papillion, Nebraska to Sprawl-Busters: "Eleven brave neighbors are in the midst of a fight to stop a big box development at the corner of 72nd and Giles Street in Papillion, Nebraska. The developer won approval last year for a big box development anchored by a Super Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart is closing a store near by in La Vista and induced City leaders in Papillion to amend the City's Comprehensive Development Plan to allow the big box development at 72nd and Giles even though the surrounding area had developed in the past as residential. Wal-Mart promised Papillion an increase in sales tax revenue of over two million dollars a year, which city leaders apparently couldn't resist. Eleven neighbors challenged the approval for the development in Court alleging that the City illegally amended its Comprehensive Development Plan to allow the development; that the rezoning on the site was accomplished illegally; and that a rezoning to allow commercial development in a residential neighborhood to increase tax revenues is illegal. The district court ruled against the neighbors, but the Nebraska Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case on appeal and it is set for argument September 6, 2005. Lawyers for the neighbors, Mike McClellan and Bill Gast, are confident that the Nebraska Supreme Court will overturn the lower court's decision. In the meantime, the developer has started grading on the site even though it does not yet own the property. The developer has made it clear in pleadings before the court that construction of buildings cannot commence while litigation is pending. A large group of neighbors were involved in the fight last year in proceeding before the city council and the neighbors involved in the lawsuit are confident a victory in the Nebraska Supreme Court will reinvigorate the community for the fight."

What you can do: For more information on the great work these 11 Nebraska residents are doing, go to the following websites: www.propapillion.org and www.gastlawfirm. For other stories from Nebraska, search Newsflash by the state's name.










 
 
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