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2007-04-14
Fairfield, CA. Wal-Mart Threatens To Turn Fair Field To Foul Field

On November 2, 2006, Sprawl-Busters reported that Wal-Mart lost a tie vote by the Planning Commissioners in Fairfield, California. The retailer wanted to transfer from their current location on Chadbourne Rd. to the vacant Mission Village Center in Fairfield. There are already 4 Wal-Mart discount stores within 15 miles of this site, so there is no market need for this project. One month later, the Fairfield City Council unanimously approved, on a 5-0 vote, a Wal-Mart Supercenter on 18 acres of a former shopping center. Residents opposed to this flip-flop, sent Sprawl-Busters the following update: "We need your help to save our city from more traffic and endless sprawl. In 2002, the Fairfield City Council designated Mission Village as "mixed-use" in the City's General Plan. In August 2006, the Fairfield City Council unanimously voted to put restrictions on "big boxes". In November 2006, the Fairfield Planning Commission rejected the big-box proposal. But on December 6, 2006, the Fairfield City Council voted to approve an approximate 200,00 s.f. Wal-Mart Supercenter on North Texas Street -- a site formerly known as Mission Village. Not only did the Council members reverse the decision of its own Planning Commission, but overall, flip-flopped in their decision within four months. Now the City is trying to go back and correct all of the mistakes they made. To start, they are trying to reduce the parking requirements to accommodate new big-boxes coming to Fairfield. To accommodate a new big-box they will have to change the city's zoning ordinances. This change in the zoning code will add: 1) Increased traffic. The Solano Transportation Authority (STA) has predicted a 400% increase in the county's congestion over the next 25 years. Reduced parking will put tens of thousands of cars on Fairfield streets; spilling into the abutting neighborhood. 2) A proven magnet for crime. National estimates indicate that almost 1 million criminal/police incidents occurred at big-box stores in 2004 -- or 2 criminal/police incidents per minute in 2004. 3) More traffic and sprawl. A "big box" graveyard. Not only will Wal-Mart close the existing Chadbourne Road store, but the adjacent K-Mart, Big Lots and nearby FoodMaxx, Raley's and Safeway will all be in serious jeopardy. 4)The Downtown area will be threatened: A Fairfield Report clearly states that this "particularly vulnerable" part of Fairfield will be most impacted by the new "big-box" and other projects."

What you can do: Residents are trying to prevent Fairfield from becoming "Foulfield," a dumping ground for big box stores. To welcome big stores, local officials are having to reinvent their zoning code to encourage sprawl. The citizen's group, Fairfield Neighbors Promoting Smart Growth, is a non-partisan local community group that was formed to promote smart growth initiatives within the City of Fairfield. Its primary purpose is to promote smart growth principles during the Environmental Impact Report process and reduce the traffic impacts in Fairfield. The group is working with its surrounding neighbors and is united for positive changes within the community; in order to maintain a vision and quality of life that is consistent with the City's General Plan. The group is seeking donations in any size. The funds raised will help the group pursue legal options to halting this project. "We believe this is our only option," the group says, "to stand up to this huge conglomerate." The City of Fairfield has five elected City Councilmembers, including an elected Mayor. The current Mayor and Councilmembers are: Mayor Harry T. Price, and Councilmembers, Marilyn Farley , John Mraz, Frank Kardos, and Vice Mayor Jack Batson. Readers are encouraged to call the city council members at the city manager's office: 707-428-7400, and urge them to reject big box sprawl in Fairfield. Let Mayor Price know how you feel about turning a fair field, into a foul field. His email is: harryp00@earthlink.net. Please make donations payable to Fairfield Neighbors Promoting Smart Growth and mail them to: Fairfield Neighbors Promoting Smart Growth, 340-2 Travis Blvd., PMB 230 Fairfield, CA 94533. For further information, there website is http://www.smarterfairfield.com/











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

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