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2006-01-23
Spokane, WA. City Braces For Battle Over Fifth Wal-Mart

The city of Spokane, Washington already has 4 Wal-Marts within its borders -- two discount stores, and two supercenters. Even Wal-Mart addicts have enough places to get their discount fix. But now Wal-Mart is proposing yet another store on Spokane's South Hill, and several residents have contacted Sprawl-Busters to help stop the store. The site is a small 7.8 acre parcel, so the store has to be jammed onto the site. A developer from Spokane, CLC Associates, came up with the novel idea of a fifth Wal-Mart store, and has filed an application with the city's planning department. The land they want is zoned commercially, but it also has housing abutting the property, which is always a bad transition. CLC wants to build a 165,000 s.f. superstore on one level, which is about the size of 3.5 football fields. The plan calls for a multi-level parking garage with underground and above-ground parking spaces to handle more than 700 cars."We had to incorporate a multi-level structure, so that it's appropriate for the size of parcel," a Wal-Mart spokesman told station KREM. A community meeting will be held on January 26th, when representatives from Wal-Mart will try to convince uneasy residents that this Wal-Mart will be "unique" and good for the community.

What you can do: Traffic, impact on wetlands, impact on surrounding residential properties, and impact on existing businesses will all be part of this case, which is already angering area residents, who feel they have suffered enough in Spokane with four Wal-Marts. This is a very tight place to put a single story building this size. The developer could have proposed a two story facility, but since he didn't, it's up to the neighbors to demand a smaller footprint, and something more compatible with the surround residential community. For local contacts in Spokane, contact info@sprawl-busters.com.










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

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