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1999-06-28
Tucson, AZ. Something Different Than Wal-Mart.

Give Jerry Anderson, of Tucson, AZ credit. He was the only member of the City Council to vote recently against a huge megamall that is heavily surrounded by residential property. "This will have a serious impact on our community," Anderson was quoted as saying in the Arizona Daily Star. Out-voted 6-1, Anderson said the mall plan "just gets the most profits for mall owners who arug over the heights of walls and screens." Indeed, it seemed like city officials were playing the very familiar "mitigation game" of trying to buffer a Wal-Mart, a Home Depot and a 20-screen movie theatre. All for no compelling reason, because Tucson already has two Wal-Mart stores (on East Wetmore and East Speedway) and 1 Sam's Club. So Walmartians are not far away as it stands. The City Council wants to close off certain roads, restrict delivery truck traffic, build an 8 foot high wall with 8 inch thinck sound-absorbing walls, buy several homes, and improve the lighting and location of loading docks -- everything they could do for the neighbors -- except stop the project. "We need a vision that means something different than a Wal-Mart, a Home Depot and a 20 screen theatre complex," Anderson protested. Said one neighbor: "We'd love to see the mall be successful, but not at the expense of our homes." Some residents, however, seemed to understand that you can't hide a Wal-Mart superstore and a Home Depot behind a wall -- no matter how many inches of soundproofing you use. "If we get stores like Wal-Mart and Home Depot," said Jean Davies, who owns a home in abutting El Encanto, "you're going to destroy our neighborhood." How many homes will lose serious property value, just so Wal-Mart can have its fourth store in Tucson. The El Encanto neighborhood, by the way, is listed as a neighborhood on the national historic registry.

What you can do: For more information about the Tucson battle, contact sprawl-busters.










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

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