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1998-09-03
Rocky Mount, NC. Wal-Mart's Dark Fence.

Rocky Mount, NC already has a Wal-Mart -- but it's time to get a bigger one, because Wal-Mart customers need bigger aisles to drive their bigger shopping carts towards bigger merchandise. So a developer named Looney has asked the city to rezone 51 acres of land to build a supercenter. Part of the land is located within a floodplain, part has an old school building on it, and the rest is cropland and woodland. The city's Land Development Plan suggests that large scale retail development at this site is not an appropriate land use (much of it is zoned office/government or agricultural), but Mr. Looney says a super Wal-Mart will cause "significant expansion of the business atmosphere". The project involves 6 buildings totalling 356,000 s.f. of new retail construction, including a 203,750 s.f Wal-Mart, and another anchor of 86,572 s.f. The site plan also calls for 2 more unspecified outlots, and 2 additional parcels marked only "future development". Several residential subdivisions border the property, and Mr.Looney has proposed "a dark-colored fence" be installed, along with a berm to buffer the homes from this huge project. A dark-colored fence should just about do it! The NC Dept of Transportation has given the city a list of concerns about traffic problems a 2,000+ parking lot will create in the area. The state told local officials that even with traffic improvements made, the so-called Cobb Corners development will "reflect a degradation of level of service at all existing intersections". The city's Land Development Plan for this area says the city should "maintain the existing zoning classifications" and that rezoning requests like the one made by Mr.Looney should be "based on conformance with this land development plan."

What you can do: Do you find it hard to believe that a Wal-Mart supercenter can be hidden behind a "dark colored fence"? Would Mr.Looney want to live on the other side of that dark-colored fence? Many residents abutting this proposal would appreciate any signs of opposition to this project. Your comments on Cobb Corners can be sent to: Deck McCain, City of Rocky Mount, One Government Plaza, Box 1180, Rocky Mount, NC 27802-1180. Tell Deck that Mr.Looney should be held to the 1995 Land Use Plan for the Benvenue Road Corridor -- the goal of which is to "maintain the stability of EXISTING land uses."










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

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