On May 15, the citizens of Glendale, Arizona voted to uphold city zoning rules that will prevent Wal-Mart from building a 220,000 square foot, 24-hour supercenter. Nearly 60 percent of voters favored maintaining the zoning and keeping Wal-Mart out. In 1999, the City Council rezoned a 39 acre site from agricultural to commercial in order to allow construction of a shopping center. City officials and nearby residents were led to believe that the center would house small, neighborhood-serving shops in a pedestrian-oriented design.… Read More
Residents of a Madison neighborhood were shocked to learn in early December that a 20-year-old local grocery store would be closing its doors. Ken Kopp, owner of Ken Kopp’s Fine Foods on Monroe Street, one of the last independent grocery stores in the city, announced he was retiring. Unable to find a buyer for the grocery business, Kopp planned to sell the property to a developer who intended to build a 14,000 square foot drive-through Walgreens.… Read More
In the last issue of this Bulletin, we reported on a massive citizen effort in New Rochelle, New York to block a 300,000 square foot Ikea furniture superstore. In late January, Ikea and the city jointly announced that they would drop the project.
Although the press release issued by Mayor Tim Idoni, who strongly favored the chain, focused on certain unresolvable traffic issues, opponents contend that the organized and sustained citizen opposition ultimately led to the project’s demise.
Located on Lake Michigan, the small town of Petoskey in northern Michigan draws thousands of visitors every year. They come for the spectacular scenery and for an opportunity to experience what many communities have long since lost: a vibrant downtown. Renowned for its distinctive character and century-old buildings, downtown Petoskey is more than a quaint destination for tourists. Its a place that serves the everyday needs of residents. … Read More
At a hearing held in mid-November, residents of New Rochelle, New York were finally given an opportunity to comment on a proposed 308,000 square foot Ikea furniture store. They gave city officials an earful. More than 400 people packed City Hall, while hundreds more stood outside. So many wished to testify that the city was forced to extend the hearings over five nights, taking 18 hours of testimony from more than 200 residents. All but a handful opposed the project. … Read More
Small business owners and neighborhood activists were elated in November when Pittsburgh Mayor Tom Murphy decided to drop his controversial downtown redevelopment plan. The $522 million project involved demolishing 60 historic buildings and condemning 120 mostly locally owned businesses. In their place, Murphy sought to build a massive retail complex, anchored by a Nordstrom department store and several dozen national chains. … Read More
Wal-Mart already operates twenty stores in Maine, including three supercenters, and ranks as the fourth largest employer in this state of 1.2 million people. But that’s not enough. Wal-Mart wants to open supercenters, which combine general merchandise with a full supermarket, up and down the coast. This would enable the company to become the dominant, if not only, retailer in many of Maine’s communities. … Read More
Starbucks expected few hurdles when it sought city approval to open a fifth store in Evanston, Illinois earlier this year. That all changed when twenty neighborhood residents showed up at the Zoning Board meeting to voice their opposition. … Read More
Local activists and business owners in Pittsburgh are fighting Mayor Tom Murphy’s plan to use eminent domain to destroy 60 buildings and condemn 125 mostly locally owned businesses. In their place, Murphy wants to build a massive retail complex, anchored by a Nordstrom department store and several dozen national chains such as The Gap, FAO Schwarz, and J Crew. … Read More