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.