New Milford, MAYOR SAYS A WAL-MART SUPERSTORE “SENDS A BAD MESS
The Mayor of New Milford, Connecticut is reacting this week to the decision of his Planning Commission to allow by a 3-2 vote to approve a zoning change that would allow a Wal=Mart superstore to open in his community. New Milford already has a Wal-Mart discount store.
In a statement submitted to the New Milford, CT. Patch, Mayor David Gronbach said: “I’ll be your biggest advocate; if an outlet mall is proposed, I’ll work with you to pave the way; if, as is widely believed, a Super Walmart is proposed, I along with a majority of the business community will oppose it with practicality and reason. Opening up an additional 600,000 sf of retail space makes no sense when we cannot fill the space we have available now.”
The Mayor continued, “The failure to disclose the ultimate plan for this property fuels negative speculation, causing unnecessary distress for the community and business owners. I understand why Walmart is getting into the supermarket business. You may visit Walmart once every couple of months. We grocery shop every week and the spill over from the grocery shopping will help sales in Walmart’s other departments. The problem is that the grocery stores that invested in New Milford, Stop & Shop, Big Y, Aldi’s, did so based on the zoning that would allow them to provide a service, fill a niche, and achieve some equilibrium with the other businesses. Changing the zoning now changes the landscape these businesses relied upon when they made their investment here. If, as I do, we care about our future economic development, this sends a bad message to future investors.”
The Mayor fears that if a bigger Wal-Mart comes, the existing Wal-Mart discount store will close. "If Walmart were to pull out of that plaza,” the Mayor warns, “Stop & Shop could close and the Plaza would lose two major anchors that smaller businesses rely on…The Town is just starting to find its footing with interesting and high quality retail that was disrupted when Walmart originally opened.”
The Mayor blasted the Planning for its vote: "Three Planning Commission members…voted to approve a change without knowing the ultimate use or considering the effect on the Town. That is the opposite of Planning. For two Town Council members to endorse the change without disclosing the ultimate use is the opposite of Transparency.”
What you can do: The Zoning Commission will hear this issue on Tuesday, October 11th at 7:00 PM downstairs aat Town Hall. “I urge concerned citizens and business owners,” the Mayor said, “regardless of political party, to voice your opinion.”
Readers are urged to email the New Milford Zoning Commission, at: firstname.lastname@example.org
with this message:
"Dear Zoning Commission,
I agree with the Mayor that another Wal-Mart in New Mildford, this one adding a grocery store, "send a bad message to future investors." All this proposal will do is cut the slices of the retail pie thinner. It will not create new jobs or any econmic development. It will kill the existing Wal-Mart, and leave other retail holes. The land that Wal-Mart wants is not zoned correctly, and 3 members of the Planning Commission should not make this major decision on their own. I urge the Zoning Commission to reject this rezoning. One Wal-Mart is one more than enougn.
To see the Patch article, go to: