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Citizens in Aurora, New York, Press for Big Box Ban

| Written by Stacy Mitchell | No Comments | Updated on Jul 1, 2003 The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at

A citizens group in Aurora, New York, has fought off Wal-Mart twice, first in 1996 and again in 2000. Now, with rumors circulating that the company may return for a third attempt, Aurora Citizens for Smart Growth is pushing for a permanent law banning stores over 55,000 square feet. That’s about one-third the size of the stores Wal-Mart previously proposed.

Bruce Davidson of the citizens group says the size cap is needed to maintain the character of the community and its small, locally owned businesses. Aurora is a town of about 14,000 people in the Finger Lakes region of western New York. It has a well-preserved downtown that has recently undergone new investment and revitalization.

“The village is getting to be so vibrant. It seems we’ve turned a corner, and one big-box could suck the life out of everything done in the last five years,” Sara Herrmann, a town Planning Board member, told the Buffalo News.

The planning board voted to recommend the cap. The town board, which will make the final decision, is expected to begin considering the measure in August.

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About Stacy Mitchell

Stacy Mitchell is co-director of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, and directs its Community-Scaled Economy Initiative, which produces research and analysis, and partners with a range of allies to design and implement policies that curb economic consolidation and strengthen community-rooted enterprise.  She is the author of Big-Box Swindle and also produces a popular monthly newsletter, the Hometown Advantage Bulletin.  Connect with her on twitter and catch her TEDx Talk: Why We Can’t Shop Our Way to a Better Economy. More

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