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2005-08-06
Albuquerque, NM. City Agrees to Hear Citizenís Wal-Mart Complaints

More updates from Albuquerque, New Mexico, where residents have sent in this story to bring Sprawl-Busters up to date: "After a 7 month uphill battle, opponents to a proposed Wal-Mart Super Center, planned for a site nearly totally surrounded by single family residential development, finally got a break. The Albuquerque City Council rejected a Land Use Hearing Officer's recommendation to deny opponent appeals (2) and will hear them in September. Opponents to the 300,000 sq ft development, including a 230,000 sq ft Wal-Mart Super Center, have consistently argued that the development is too large and intense for the site; will generate excessive traffic and air quality impacts in an area already impacted by two regional shopping centers; that decision-makers and planning staff ignored or mis-applied City plans, policies, and ordinances; and that their District City Councilor is less than impartial. In February, and again in September, opponents complained to the City Attorney and Director of Council Services that their Councilor (who would eventually hear their appeals) was meeting in private with Wal-Mart's agent (Ron Bohannon/Tierra West), several officers of two adjacent neighborhood associations, and City Planning staff; attending most public meetings-voicing her opinion on the proposal; and e-mailing a second year law student's biased opinion (including inferences that Wal-Mart will sue) to constituents who opposed the development-noting that it was a "thoughtful analysis" or "the true story". The day before the Council meeting opponents
discovered that an organization related to Tierra West, Bohfam, had donated $450 to the Councilor's campaign fund and demanded that she be excused for being less than impartial and having a conflict of interest. After a heated discussion at the Council meeting the Councilor "temporarily" excused herself."

What you can do: For earlier stories on Albuquerque's battles to restrain big box sprawl, search Newsflash by the name of the city. Opponents have a continuing need for funds and legal support. For more information, contact Marcia Swezy at mswezy@comcast.net.










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

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