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2016-01-09
Miami, FL Court Gives Wal-Mart OK to Build After 4 Years of Battle

There is no other retail corporation in America that generate fierce opposition like Wal-Mart.

In midtown Miami, residents have been blocking an enormous 200,000 s.f. , 3 story sprawlcenter for the past 4 years, and opponents have vowed to keep up the battle.

Wal-Mart told the Miami Herald that it expected to begin construction on the store back in 2013. But as 2016 arrived, the store was just starting to dig trenches on its site. On January 7th, a panel of judges of the Third District Court of Appeal refused to support a petition challenging the city of Miami’s approval of the store.

In 2014, anti-Wal-Mart residents got a panel of circuit judges to rule that city officials erred when they gave Wal-Mart a variance from the zoning code. Opponents asked the court to force Wal-Mart to resubmit their proposal de novo---from scratch. But the court was not willing to go that far.

A Wal-Mart spokesman told the Herald, “We are pleased that the appeals court has validated the lower court’s decision and the City of Miami Commission’s unanimous approval of our new Wal-Mart store in Midtown.” Wal-Mart claimed that Miami residents “have been anticipating our store’s arrival for years.”

But Grant Stern, a mortgage broker who has fought Wal-Mart from the start, told the Herald that he is not done yet, hinting that he still has the option to appeal his case to the Florida Supreme Court. Stern also brought a public records lawsuit against the city of Miami.

“Wal-Mart shouldn't be self-congratulating after taking four years to take the very first steps toward building,” Stern told the Herald. “We're going to keep challenging until everything is conforming,” Stern added. “For them to take four years to take step one, they should be embarrassed.”

Readers are urged to email Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado at tregalado@miamigov.com with the following message:
Dear Mayor Regalado,
Miami currently has 3 Wal-Mart’s, and a total of 8 Wal-Mart stores within 10 miles of the city. How does all this big box sprawl fit with your Miami of the 21st Century initiative, which is supposed to represent the "Miami of the 21st Century.” Is another Wal-Mart superstore, this one in midtown, consistent with Miami 21’s focus on “a holistic approach to land use and urban planning. It will provide a clear vision for the City that will be supported by specific guidelines and regulations so that future generations will reap the benefits of well-balanced neighborhoods and rich quality of life.”
Will this giant superstore even be around 10 years from now, as shopper’s shift from huge stores to online shopping? Are your prepared to dispose of a 200,000 s.f. empty box? Go back to Wal-Mart and ask them to build a smaller store like they are doing in other urban areas. Cities like New York and Boston have done good job of keeping Wal-Mart out. Your Administration is backing the retail dinosaur, and the ice age of these stores has already started.”

What you can do: Readers are urged to email Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado at tregalado@miamigov.com with the following message:

Dear Mayor Regalado,

Miami currently has 3 Wal-Mart’s, and a total of 8 Wal-Mart stores within 10 miles of the city. How does all this big box sprawl fit with your Miami of the 21st Century initiative, which is supposed to represent the "Miami of the 21st Century?”

Is another Wal-Mart superstore, this one in midtown, consistent with Miami 21’s focus on “a holistic approach to land use and urban planning. It will provide a clear vision for the City that will be supported by specific guidelines and regulations so that future generations will reap the benefits of well-balanced neighborhoods and rich quality of life?”

Will this giant superstore even be around 10 years from now, as shopper’s shift from huge stores to online shopping? Are you prepared to dispose of a 200,000 s.f. empty box? Go back to Wal-Mart and ask them to build a smaller store like they are doing in other urban areas. Cities like New York and Boston have done a good job of keeping Wal-Mart out. Your Administration is backing a retail dinosaur, and the ice age of these stores has already started. You can start planning now for a huge 'dark store' to dispose of."










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

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