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:

2018
JAN FEB MAR
APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP
OCT NOV DEC

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:

2008-10-26
Brooklyn, CT. Like Cheap Underwear, Wal-Mart Creeps Up On Town

Brooklyn, Connecticut describes itself as "a town in flux." This small community of roughly 7,900 people is certainly in flux this week, as many residents are reeling from the news they heard on WINY radio that a Wal-Mart supercenter wants to come to town. Brooklyn likes to say it is located in Northeastern Connecticut, the "Quiet Corner" of the state. But things are not quiet any more in Brooklyn. The town's video tour of Brooklyn is full of bucholic, pastoral scenes of open fields, red barns, and white wooden fences. But the town says it has become one of the fastest-growing rural communities in the region. But everything is relative. In 2007, Brooklyn only had 1,205 more people than it had 17 years earlier. That's an average of 6 new people a month arriving in town. The community welcomes visitors to "our little world in Eastern Connecticut, but it's not so little anymore is it?" Town officials say Brooklyn has "a rural look," but it also has "a modern day commerce center" on Route 6, close to Route 395. It only took a few hours after the radio announced that a Wal-Mart was coming for residents to sound the alarm. "As of October 22nd, the residents of Brooklyn were informed via WINY that a Wal-Mart would be coming to town, abutting a wetland area," one resident wrote to Sprawl-Busters. "Apparently a zoning committee to fight this had been formed and mysteriously disbanded. We are gathering info and preparing to fight. Town Selectman Roger Engle has been on board with this and has been doing some double-talking when contacted by concerned citizens. There have been at least one or two private meetings with the Wal-Mart corporation and without the knowledge of townspeople." Another resident wrote: "Wal-Mart has just announced through a press release that they will be destroying our beautiful, rural town. We feel paralyzed...I have contacted many and I know we have a large group to fight this. Our first selectman, Roger Engle, has told me this is a 'done deal' as the land is commercially zoned and he is planning to further develop Route 6. We are collecting signatures tomorrow to force a town meeting, but don't know how to battle this. I have been told that there are osprey nests and the property borders protected wetlands." A third resident wrote: "Many people of our town are quite concerned and town officials deny any rumors, but did indicate that there is nothing they can do about it, if it was the case. A flyer was recently sent out anonymously regarding a potential Wal-Mart. Even a local landowner who was going to add a small food store to a newly built bank and CVS decided to not to go through with his addition plans because of the threat. We just found out that he sold the new plaza that houses the brand new bank and CVS... Something is going on and it's quite difficult to know who is buying land as some of these investors are either new or little to no information about them."






What you can do: First Selectman Roger Engle says that Brooklyn is at a critical crossroads, "consistently striving to maintain it's rural charisma and atmosphere while keeping an eye to the future." Engle's eye is focused on Wal-Mart, not rural charisma. The town's Economic Development Commission's 2007 goals include a statement that the town should "Maintain and encourage the growth of business on Route 6 both retail and commercial." But a project of this scale, reported to be 158,000 s.f., is way beyond the demographic needs of little Brooklyn -- no matter how fast if grows over the next twenty years. The Brooklyn retail trade area already has a Wal-Mart 10 miles away in Putnam, Connecticut, plus a supercenter 14 miles away in North Windham, and another supercenter 14 miles away in Lisbon. Residents have been told that no application has been filed yet by Wal-Mart -- and yet it's a 'done deal.' When residents went to town hall seeking a copy of the Wal-Mart application, planning staff told them they could have it when it was filed, but that it was 'too late' to stop. One town official reported said the project would be breaking ground this spring. It is rumored that Wal-Mart officials -- now that their cover has been blown -- are coming to Brooklyn in November to present their plan. Readers are urged to email First Selectman Roger Engle at: r.engle@brooklynct.org with the following message: "Dear Selectman Engle, It looks like town officials in Brooklyn have left local taxpayers and homeowners out of the loop on this new Wal-Mart superstore. You know that a town -- even a growing town -- with only 7,900 people does not warrant a huge superstore nearly the size of three football fields -- especially with existing Wal-Mart superstores in North Windham and Lisbon. It's time for the selectmen to put on the table all the negotiations that have gone on with this project, and not force citizens to use the Connecticut Freedom of Information Act to get them. Your taxpayers need to know when you learned of this project, and what meetings town officials or staff had with Wal-Mart leading up to this announcement. Please ask town staff to refrain from telling residents this is a 'done deal.' People not listening carefully might think staff are saying this is a 'dumb deal.' A project this large in a town this small needs due deliberation -- not a short-cut or a rush job. It's time to level with your residents what has transpired so far, and how they can be heard on this land deal as it moves forward. Traffic and environmental impacts need to be carefully evaluated. Wal-Mart is going to find a wall of opposition in Brooklyn. The community needs to carefully balance what you call its "rural charisma" with suburban sprawl. You can't buy small town quality of life on any Wal-Mart shelf, but once they take it from you, you can't get it back at any price."










 
 
"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