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2007-01-03
LeRoy, NY. Wal-Mart Wants Home Of Jell-O

LeRoy, New York is the home of the Jell-O Museum. It has an Agricultural Practices committee "to establish a better working relationship and understanding between farmers and their surrounding neighbors." Hillary Rodham Clinton and Charles Shumer are its U.S. Senators. Since the late 1790's, LeRoy has grown to become a dynamic and vibrant community. "Le Roy offers a rich past and promising future," its website says. "LeRoy is an ideal place for you to live, work, and shop." But that last word has become a sore topic in LeRoy. Residents in this small town now fear that a Wal-Mart is trying to squeeze into town like jell-o through your fingers. The following report was sent today from residents in LeRoy: "For the last 6-8 weeks a 52 acre area just west of the village of LeRoy has been surveyed and staked out. This past week two drilling rigs were seen on the property. Rumors are abundant about who is interested in the property, but the scuttlebutt is Wal-Mart plans to build there. Today we learned through a friend that someone she knows recently sold his home in LeRoy to Wal-Mart. LeRoy is a community of 7,000 -- much like most of the rural Northeast -- a main street with many empty stores and two supermarkets: a TOPS supermarket that is part of a chain with a union, and a Save-A-Lot. LeRoy is about 25 miles south west of Rochester. (And the home town of JELL-O!) The Geneseo, NY Wal-Mart Supercenter is 21 miles southeast of LeRoy. 20 miles north of LeRoy a new Wal-Mart Supercenter is opening in Brockport. 20 miles south of LeRoy Wal-Mart has presented a plan to expand into a Supercenter. 12 miles west of LeRoy a new Wal-Mart Supercenter is being built. (the one Batavia First sought to stop.) 20 miles northeast of LeRoy is a Wal-Mart Supercenter at the edge of Rochester. In Rochester there are at least 2 more Wal-mart Supercenters. Recently the proposed Wal-Mart Supercenter for Lima, NY (about 30 miles east of LeRoy) was defeated! We have attended the last 2 month's LeRoy Town and Planning Board meetings. No local official seems to know anything more than we do. As of this writing, no development plans have been submitted. We plan to attend upcoming meetings, and are making copies of local zoning law and related documents in preparation for things to come. Even though we are not certain at this time Wal-Mart plans to develop in LeRoy, we are preparing for the fight as soon as we can determine it is Wal-Mart."

What you can do: It makes sense to take action to stop Wal-Mart before they announce their intentions. Being proactive means proposing a zoning ordinance that limits the size of retail buildings, or that limits the square footage of building footprint per acre. For example, if LeRoy passed a zoning bylaw which said retail development on any parcel cannot exceed more than 2,000 s.f. of building footprint per acre, that means a 25 acre site could not hold more than a 50,000 s.f. building. A 50 acre site could sustain a 100,000 s.f. building, and so on. This kind of "intensity ratio" keeps the building proportionate to the site. Residents in LeRoy should take action now, regardless of whether or not the rumors bear out. For other strategies on busting sprawl, go to www.walmartwatch.com/battlemart, and click on "zoning." The corporate slogan for Jell-O is: "There's always room for Jell-O." But in LeRoy, the home of the Jell-O museum, the residents are saying, "There's not enough room for Wal-Mart."










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

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