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2001-08-05
Morgantown, WV. Wal-Mart's Option Runs Out.

Sprawl-Busters in West Virginia emailed the following victory account from the front lines: "Wal-Mart suffers defeat in Morgantown, W.V.! The company, which already has one location in Morgantown, had proposed to develop a superstore in an area of town that already has severe traffic problems, and on property containing a prehistoric Native American village and burial ground. The company had to get permission from the state highway department to gain access to the main road in front of the property. However, after a 15-month campaign by a local grassroots group, Citizens for Responsible Development, along with other activists, the Commissioner of Highways denied Wal-Mart's application in early July, saying it was not in the public interest to allow a Wal-Mart superstore to further congest the area's road system. Wal-Mart intimated that it might try to develop the property anyway, using local two-lane streets as its access roads. But the other shoe dropped today, Aug. 3. Wal-Mart's option on the property had included a clause that started a 30-day clock ticking from the highway department's decision on access to the state highway: the company had to either exercise the option and buy the property at the agreed-on price, or let the option expire. Wal-Mart announced today that it was not exercising the option. It says it still intends to develop a second store in Morgantown, so the struggle is not over yet, but the community has won a major victory. It's all the more remarkable because the company's chosen site is not currently subject to zoning or any other controls on development.

What you can do: For more information on Morgantown's victory over Wal-Mart, contact crdmorgantown@yahoo.com. Got news of a similar nature in your community? Pass it along to sprawl-busters, and let the world know about it. Just email info@sprawl-busters.com.










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

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