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2006-11-13
Mill Creek, WA. Wal-Mart Delayed By At Least A Year

On September 17, 2006, Sprawl-Busters reported that citizens in Mill Creek, Washington had forced Wal-Mart to do an Environmental Impact Study(EIS). They fought the retailer, and their local officials to win their case before a hearing officer. Now Mill Creek residents report that a simple mailing mistake has cost Wal-Mart a chance to appeal the Hearing Examiner's ruling about an EIS. Here is their report: "Citizens for a Better Mill Creek thank UFCW Local 21, our land-use attorney Claudia Newman, and Sprawl-Busters for our victorious site-fight against a proposed 24/7 Wal-Mart adjacent to wetlands and across the street from two schools. The Snohomish County Hearing Examiner ruled in September 2006 that Wal-Mart must prepare and submit an Environmental Impact Statement on stormwater drainage and traffic impacts. Wal-Mart petitioned for reconsideration of the Hearing Examiner's decision, but failed to send a copy of the petition to all Parties of Record as required by law on the date of petition filing. Citizens for a Better Mill Creek mobilized Parties of Record to comment on why the EIS requirement should stand, and the Hearing Examiner re-affirmed the decision. It will take Wal-Mart as long as a year to prepare the EIS. We plan to stay vigilant and examine it closely. Take-home lesson: never give up, and never believe conventional wisdom that "it's already a done deal." Knowledge, truth and perseverance give power to communities. In November 2006, Washington state voters resoundingly defeated Initiative 933, which would have forced taxpayers to pay billions to irresponsible developers or waive land-use zoning and environmental protections."

What you can do: At Wal-Mart's Home Office in Bentonville, the store in Mill Creek was supposed to be a cake walk. They had local officials lined up, they had their lawyers and engineers -- it seemed like a simple exercise. The one thing they did not count on was widespread citizen opposition. This project is far from dead, but the hearing appeals, and now the EIS requirement, have thrown Wal-Mart's plans into orbit. Wal-Mart will lose at least $100 million in sales at the proposed Mill Creek location because of these delays -- if it ever happens. For earlier stories, search Sprawl-Busters by "Mill Creek."










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

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