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2006-03-25
Violet, OH Residents Turn Out In Droves To Oppose Wal-Mart

There were no shrinking Violets this week in the township of Violet, Ohio. All it took was a Wal-Mart proposal to turn out the crowd of more than 350 people. Anti-Wal-Mart residents filled up the Pickerington Ridgeview Junior High School on March 23rd for the Planning & Zoning commission meeting. According to the Columbus Dispatch, residents were overwhelmingly opposed to plans by the TLG Development Company to rezone 106 acres of farmland to commercial use. The developer, from Dublin, Ohio, tried to convince the crowd that the big box store in the site plan was not determined, but residents distributed anti-Wal-Mart literature. One resident who testified told township officials, "It's disgusting to me. I moved out here (35 years ago) to live in the country." Another neighbor said, "I do have concerns for my property values." The developer asked for time to conduct traffic and economic impact studies. The Planning and Zoning Commission did not rule on the rezoning, but asked for a continuance to study the case. The P&Z recommends a decision to the Township Trustees, but whatever they decide, the Trustees can only overturn the P&Z vote with a unanimous vote of the Trustees.

What you can do: A rezoning cannot be done in an arbitrary or capricious way. The P & Z members must look at the township's comprehensive plan, must look at the zoning code, and must look at the criteria the town has established for rezoning land. The neighbors who bought homes believing they would be living next to residentially zoned land, should not have to compromise their largest financial investment by having to live next to an incompatible land use. But residents in Violet need a land use attorney, a traffic engineer, an appraiser to measure the loss in value of homes in the area, and maybe even an economist to measure the economic impact of this proposal on public revenues. A large crowd is a great start, however, and now the case has to be made that rezoning this land is inharmonious with the township's land use plans, and will adversely affect surrounding properties.










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

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