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1999-06-19
Richardson, TX. Wal-Mart Makes A Video

You won't find this video at Blockbuster, but Wal-Mart is hoping its video will change some minds in Richardson, TX, a community of roughly 80,000 people. According to reports from local sprawl-busters in this city 17 miles north of downtown Dallas, Wal-Mart has helped finance a group called "Concerned Citizens for Quality Growth", which has been promoting a 220,000 s.f. Wal-Mart supercenter on 19.4 acres of land that is surrounded by residential properties. On May 4th, the Richardson Planning and Zoning board voted 6-0 to deny Wal-Mart's superstore project. The neighboring Duck Creek Homeowners Association voted 343-3 to oppose Wal-Mart, and turned out as many as 600 people at the P&Z hearing in May. The land in question has been zoned medium density residential for at least 30 years, and was once a cotton pasture. The owner of the property has apparently suggested that if Wal-Mart does not go on his land, he might try to develop low-income housing. Wal-Mart has appealed the P&Z vote to the City Council, which will hear the case on June 28th. Because of the P&Z vote, and because more than 20% of the abutting land is owned by people opposed to the project, the City Council must pass the superstore on a supermajority vote of 6-1. If two people on the Council oppose the project, the P&Z vote will be upheld. Wal-Mart has apparently decided to step up its public relations effort running up to the Council vote. In early June, Wal-Mart sent a mailing to many area residents, and informed them that they could order a video. One resident who asked to see the tape, said it was delivered to his door by a teenager. The 10 minute tape extolled the virtues of Wal-Mart, and made general references to the spectre of what would happen if low-income housing was built instead of a Wal-Mart. One resident told me he considered the video "race-baiting".

What you can do: Wal-Mart is getting fond of the video tape promo idea. In Arizona, they made a 5 minute video entitled "Here to Serve", and sent it out to local households. This Texas video is another video story, and no doubt there are many more. Opponents in Richardson should take popcorn to the City Council meeting in case Wal-Mart decides to put on a video show for elected officials. The only thing that been popping up all over Richardson is oppositon to the project.










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

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