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2001-12-11
Bedford, MI. Talk of Wal-Mart Ruins Dinner

Here's proof positive that Wal-Mart can ruin your appetite. A group of
residents of Bedford,Michigan found their evening meal left a sour taste
when the topic of conversation turned to Wal-Mart. For many, the evening
was a deja vu. Less than two years ago, folks in Bedford, Michigan stopped
a Meijer's big box store from locating in their community. But it seems
developers in Bedford still can't think outside of the box. Landowners Jon
and Paul Whitman apparently dropped the box on a gathering of 35 neighbors
during a dinner meeting. The Whitmans ruined the dinner for many in
attendance when they revealed that they plan to sell 30 acres of land off
Lewis Avenue to Wal-Mart. The announcement didn't exactly elicit any
cheers. "I can predict that there will be strong public sentiment against
that," Dennis Rabb told the Toledo Blade newspaper. "It really isn't good
for anybody." During the dinner meeting, the Whitmans, who run a Ford
dealership, reportedly said they didn't want to see the 30 acres become a
strip mall. But then they said they would sell it to Wal-Mart. The problem
facing the Whitmans and Wal-Mart is that only part of the land in question
is zoned commercial, the remainder is residentially zoned. But Wal-Mart
could try to create a Planned Unit Development (PUD) instead of just
getting the land rezoned to commercial. But Rabb and other residents have
vowed to fight the Wal-Mart, and leaflets have already been distributed to
the neighbors.Whenever enormous projects are proposed adjacent to
residential properties, the issues of traffic, noise, visual pollution,
deteriorating home values, and other objections surface. So far, a formal
proposal has not been submitted, but the real estate broker handling the
deal told the Blade he hopes to get approvals within the next 2 months.
When the newspaper sought confirmation from Wal-Mart about the Bedford
store, they responded in typical fashion: we have no information about
plans for a store in Bedford.

What you can do: To find out how you can help sprawl-busters in Bedford, Michigan stop
Wal-Mart, contact Dennis Rabb at 734-847-0368.










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

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