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2006-02-05
Mahoning, PA. Court Hears Case Over Wal-Mart Access Road

Sprawl-Busters reported last September that residents in Mahoning township, Pennsylvania has sued town officials over a zoning variance for a Wal-Mart superstore. That case is now being heard in Carbon County Court. The citizens charge that Wal-Mart should not have been given a zoning variance for an access road to a proposed supercenter just 320 feet from another intersection. When Wal-Mart applied to build a 203,000 s.f. superstore, the town's zoning ordinance required that access roads be at least 2,500 feet from intersections. Wal-Mart's plan only had 1,500 feet of frontage, and had to seek a variance. Wal-Mart and the township eventually agreed on a plan for the access road which provided for only 320 feet of distance. Residents presented a plan in court that would provide 800 feet, and be safer. The town's position is that the variance can only be rejected if the Zoning Board abused its discretion or made a legal error.


What you can do: It is hard to see how moving the access road 500 feet one way or another is going to change this project, and the issue residents have chosen to appeal on seems to have very limited overall impact. And once this case is decided, the residents of Mahoning have even more at stake, because Wal-Mart has announced that it plans to sell the empty store it is vacating in Mahoning only one quarter of a mile away, to Lowe's, which will demolish the 103,000 s.f. empty Wal-Mart and build a new, larger store. So Mahoning will have two big boxes to make them miserable.










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

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