Sprawl-Busters Newsflash Blog - Anti-Sprawl news since 1998.
Subscribe to Sprawl-Busters Blog Follow Sprawl Busters on Twitter
Occupy Walmart & Order Al's Books Movies Newsflash! The Case Against Sprawl Home Towns Not Home Depot Victories Your Battles About Us Contact Us  

recent news

List articles
by the month:

2017
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2016
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2015
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2014
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2013
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2012
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2011
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2010
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2009
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2008
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2007
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2006
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2005
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2004
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2003
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2002
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2001
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

2000
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

1999
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

1998
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC


Search database by text:

1999-08-20
Murphy, TX. Wal-Mart meets Murphy's law.

"Just because growth is inevitable, doesn't mean that we have to give in to big business or compromise our standards or quality of life, and there is more to quality of life than being able to get a store in 60 seconds flat." That's what one resident of Murphy, Texas said at the City Council meeting this week, as Wal-Mart presented what appears to be plans for a 50,000 s.f. Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market, or what the Dallas Morning news called "Wal-Mart's first stand-alone grocery store". Wal-Mart has been experimenting with Neighborhood Markets in Arkansas. But Wal-Mart ran into Murphy's law: if something can go wrong, it will. The City Council, in front of more than 150 residents crammed into the Council chambers and spilling out into the hallway, listened to nearly 4 hours of debate and then voted to rezone the land Wal-Mart wanted from commercial to residential. The Morning News said the Council was "reluctant to answer massive retailer's call". Wal-Mart said their grocery store would give citizens an alternative to the existing Albertson's, and would produce sales and property tax. The irony is that the city of Murphy, which is only 6 square miles in area, adopted a land use plan last March that called for the land in question to be rezoned for residential use. In July, Wal-Mart bought 20 acres of land, and told the City Council of the purchase just as that body was preparing to rezone the land. Wal-Mart's plans notwithstanding, the Council voted on August 16 to rezone the land residential as planned, by a 3-0 vote, with one abstention. The city's Mayor, Ray Bentle told reporters that he was frustrated by Wal-Mart's sudden appearance, since the planning process had been discussed in public forums for a year and a half. Some residents did not hear of Wal-Mart's plans until the night of the Council vote. The week-end before the vote, Wal-Mart apparently passed our fliers throughout the city announcing its plans to open up a business, without describing it as a grocery store. Murphy only has a population of 3,100 people. "They don't need me," said one resident, "and they don't need us." The city's planning consultant warned that Wal-Mart could detract from the city's efforts to have an economically viable town center. Residents complained about potential traffic, delivery trucks, and the impact on city services, especially the police. "I like to have the police riding down by street," another resident testified. "I don't feel the police should be siting in parking lots protecting the interests of a big corporation like Wal-Mart."

What you can do: Murphy's First Law is clear: the land is now zoned residential. Wal-Mart can build houses there, if it wants, but not a grocery store. Where was Wal-Mart all during the city's debate on its future land use plan? What was that last minute flurry of activity and distribution of fliers? Murphy's (TX) Law: If you try to bust into a small Texas town without so much as honking your horn, you may end up on the wrong side of Murphy's law. Congratulations to the three members of Murphy's City Council who had the presence of mind to stick with the plan. As for Murphy's Second Law: Don't try to suddenly surprise a small Texas town. The surprise may backfire on you!










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

info@sprawl-busters.com
Strategic Planning ~ Field Operations
Voter Campaigns 
21 Grinnell St, Greenfield ~ MA 01301
(413) 772-6289