Archive for Wednesday, May 30, 2007

No taxes lost

May 30, 2007


To the editor:

Doug Brown believes that we have lost millions in taxes because the city refused to give a building permit to Wal-Mart in May of 2003 (Take A Stand, May 26).

First, a second Wal-Mart will not produce more sales tax. Sales tax is based on the population of Lawrence and not the number or size of stores. All a second Wal-Mart will do is take money and sales taxes from existing businesses, and in turn hurt local businesses, creating vacancies and therefore loss of property taxes.

Second, the city correctly refused a building permit, because even though there was a plan in place, it was for a different applicant and a department store was not an allowed land use. The city denied Wal-Mart three times (200,000-, 157,000- and 99,000-square-foot buildings) because a majority of the commissioners felt it was not appropriate to have a store of that type and size at that location. The city did not change in midgame. This is why zoning should never be granted without a preliminary plan attached. Wal-Mart still puts in its annual report to the SEC that it is the No. 1 department store in the world. How can Wal-Mart be the No. 1 department store in the world, but not a department store in Lawrence?

Third, there will be commercial shopping at Sixth and Wakarusa.

Any lost sales tax, lost property taxes and the city's cost to defend lawsuits lay directly at the feet of Wal-Mart.

Gwen Klingenberg,



jmadison 10 years, 9 months ago

If I live in western Douglas County, and want to shop at Wal Mart, do I go to Topeka or go to south Lawrence. Timewise its about the same. With the upcoming drive by our city commission for higher sales taxes, the choice is obvious.

DaveR 10 years, 9 months ago

I can't see why anyone would be enthused about another big box store. They bring cheap goods into town, they sell them for what they can get, they take the profits elsewhere. If Lawrence represents X amont of potential profit & big corporate boxes are the means for its extraction, then you might at least hold out for Costco. Any Trader Joe fans out there? I miss them.

I tried shopping at Walmart. They have nice stuff in some departments, but for the most part they sell rubbish. Since there are stores with better quality rubbish, I avoid Wal-Mart.

Whatever store Lawrence gets to fill that big burning hole in its pocket is going to be there for a long time.

lunacydetector 10 years, 9 months ago

it is what the cities in this country define as variety or department store, respectively. our city is the only one that classifies department store and variety store different than every other municipality in the united states.

that's why the city will lose a court case. remember when one commissioner pulled out the phone book to the yellow pages to seek a definition?

doug brown is right, and what he said needed to be said.

Richard Heckler 10 years, 9 months ago

Wal-Mart is NOT some kind of golden piggy bank that so many have been made to believe. It is a joke. They too manipulate the public with all their fancy advertising and once consumers arrive they become impulse shoppers because of the belief everything at Wal-Mart is a bargain NOT! Without impulse shopping Wal-Mart would be nothing.

This household has not shopped Wal-Mart for three years not that we ever shopped much at Wal-Mart....obviously it is not necessary.

Shall we have economic growth? Or economic displacement which Wal-Mart represents?

Please bear in mind that in some nationwide urban planning circles Lawrence,Kansas is being used as a model of how NOT to grow a community due to over saturation of our residential and retail markets in which neither situation pays for itself thus higher taxes. In Lawrence,Kansas there is not an unlimited quanity of retail dollars.

Linda Endicott 10 years, 9 months ago

A lot of things have closed in Ottawa since Wal-Mart came to town.

We used to have a Gibson's (Pamida) store. We used to have an Alco store. We used to have several grocery stores. Now we have two. Wal-Mart and Country Mart. They're both situated on U.S. 59, right across the street from each other, and the whole north side of town is without a grocery store.

At one time, Venture wanted to build a store here, until they found out we already had Wal-Mart. Same with Hobby Lobby.

A lot of stores downtown have closed.

Wal-Mart came in, and moved into an existing building. Then they built a new one, and abandoned that one. Then they built the supercenter, and abandoned the new building they'd just put in. It took forever for that empty building of theirs to be filled with other businesses. They split the building into three sections, and so far, only one section has a store that's been there for quite awhile. The other two keep losing businesses.

Of course, KFC did the same thing. So far, they've built three new buildings here, and abandoned two of them. Luckily, the two old ones were filled with other restaurants.

And we now have three Casey's stores here.

One thing I know for sure about the Wal-Mart distribution center...rents here in town went sky high after it started up. We've had so many new developments built since then that I lost count. And they all look the, tacky duplexes.

Richard Heckler 10 years, 9 months ago

"If a new Wal-Mart opens, it does not necessarily follow that others will suffer, though that may be the case. More likely, as was pointed out by harley, the over-all retail dollars spent in Lawrence will increase. Residents of Lecompton, Perry, Ozawkie, Meridan, etc. may elect to come to Lawrence, rather than Topeka to do their Wal-Mart shopping, and while here may venture downtown to buy. They may have lunch. Once they are used to coming here, they may make major buying decisions, such as cars or appliances, in favor of Lawrence."

We have a 207,000 sq ft Wal-Mart this not attractive enough? Would not surprise me if the majority of Lawrence did NOT support a 2nd Wal-Mart for there is not a need.

Richard Heckler 10 years, 9 months ago

Leftist loonies prefer economic growth as opposed to economic displacement not to mention that we also realize retail dollars are limited thus so are sales tax dollars. Lawrence needs high end jobs cuz we've plenty of low end jobs. Low end jobs create commuters.

Ken Lassman 10 years, 9 months ago

I know folks in Lecompton and Perry who already come to Lawrence to shop on South Iowa because they'd rather come to Lawrence because of what Lawrence is, which is NOT Topeka. They will continue to do that whether or not we have the 2nd Walmart. In fact, the 2nd Walmart will make it more like Topeka, not less.

What folks in outlying areas need is more local options so they don't have to go to the Walmarts of the world. Building another Walmart will not help that cause one bit.

Jamesaust 10 years, 9 months ago

  1. No. Shopping patterns are far more complicated than X number of residents = X number of tax dollars.
  2. The courts disagree.
  3. Really? I drove by yesterday. All I saw was revenue pooring OUT of the public treasury.

coneflower 10 years, 9 months ago

blue73harley said: "I think the last election proved you wrong, Merrill."

I heard a lot of rhetoric about the economy and jobs from the candidates. I did not hear anyone campaigning on putting a second Wal-Mart in town, or putting any huge traffic generator at 6th/Wak.

That "economy" seems to be primarily for Bentonville and China, and the "jobs" seem to be $7 an hour jobs that will be stolen from other businesses so no net gain there.

I hate to say it, but, to the voters who did this: You've been had.

karensisson 10 years, 9 months ago

It seems crystal clear that duplicating what we already have on South Iowa will not increase sales tax revenue.

Why don't we attract more shoppers from out of town, with more choices?

Why don't we try to keep Lawrencians in town by adding stores or restaurants that people currently drive elsewhere to patronize?

I don't know why Doug Compton is so in love with Wal-Mart. They must be offering him a helluva deal to lease it from him.

blackwalnut 10 years, 9 months ago

Thank you Gwen Klingenberg for a very good letter. The facts you cite are important. The Journal-World has not done a very good job of informing people about what has actually transpired. Consequently, people are confused and misled by spin from all sides.

blackwalnut 10 years, 9 months ago

Journal-World's bias is glaring. Doug Brown's editorial got the sensational headline "Millions lost due to Wal-Mart debacle." Gwen Klingenberg's article in response gets an anemic and cryptic "No taxes lost."

The Journal-World is shamelessly biased.

peppermint 10 years, 9 months ago

Gwen says: "Second, the city correctly refused a building permit, because even though there was a plan in place, it was for a different applicant and a department store was not an allowed land use."

Gwen, who was that original applicant and what was the proposed plan?

karensisson 10 years, 9 months ago

The Journal-World ought to expose the financial & business conflicts of interest that our mayor and some on our city commission have to Doug Compton.

The Journal-World doesn't do a very good job of informing the public.

karensisson 10 years, 9 months ago

Pilgrim, you can pretend you think it isn't so, but anybody can get on the internet and find hard statistics about Wal-Mart putting long-time existing stores out of business - sometimes using predatory pricing tactics - and also people have observed this process in towns where they've lived. I myself have plenty of stories to tell along those lines. Let's at least argue with the facts, and not pretend to be ignorant of them. I think you're more savvy about retail than this.

Would you like some links? Or can you use the Google yourself?

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 10 years, 9 months ago

I grew up in Ottawa, and Wal Mart destroyed many businesses there. There is only one other grocery, and it's just barely holding on. I knew the Sandgrens who ran the NAPA store in Ottawa and Osage City. Mrs. Sandgren used to get so hacked, because everyone thought Wal Mart batteries were cheaper than hers. She sold them at the same price, and they were better quality. You also didn't have to drive all the way out of town to get it. You also weren't being waited on by some moron who didn't know anything about batteries. I used to buy my clothes there, if I couldn't get out of town to shop. Sure they were cheap, but they never lasted a whole year of wear. I guess I'm not the good little consumer. I like my purchases to last.

Emily Hadley 10 years, 9 months ago

blackwalnut wrote: 'Journal-World's bias is glaring. Doug Brown's editorial got the sensational headline "Millions lost due to Wal-Mart debacle." Gwen Klingenberg's article in response gets an anemic and cryptic "No taxes lost."'

I agree. Not balanced, especially considering the arguments contained in the two.

Consider the sources:

I don't know what Gwen does professionally, but she has been at every single City Commission meeting I have attended, which is why I know her by name. In addition to serving on the Planning Commission, I have seen her speak eloquently to the commission on behalf of Lawrence residents, local businesses, KU students, K-12 children and their families, schools, cyclists, fire rescue, green space, air and water quality, pedestrians, and neighborhood associations.

Doug Brown is senior commercial partner with Coldwell Banker Commercial McGrew Real Estate in Lawrence.

WWoftheW 10 years, 9 months ago

Someone wanted a brief history of the NW corner of 6th and Wakarusa. Agriculture, then the JW was being hassled by th city over water issues and so the JW bought the NW corner and planned a campus, 1996ish. After the city backed off the JW expanded downtown and sold the land. Next on the radar is Home Depot. Home Depot used the corner also for negotiating for what they really wanted. The city commission at the time said that they were only considering commecial on this section becuase Lawrence was in desperate need of a home improvement store and was very specific about large traffic generating department stores not being allowed. The corner was a CC200 and had already exceeded the sq ft allowed on the south side of 6th and Wakarusa. As Gwen said, by not tied the zoning to any plan, when Home Depot negotiated what they really wanted they left a 132,000 sq ft building and I believe a couple of other smaller pad sites with the department store removed as a land use zoned at 6th and Wakarusa. Wal-Mart came to town and tried to get 200,000 sq ft and was denied and as noted denied twice more.

blackwalnut 10 years, 9 months ago

WWoftheW: Where does the KDoT traffic study figure into all this? Does the city have to consider traffic and safety issues, since so much more retail has been added since then? Do they have to get another objective study since the only one is (by their admission) outdated?

WWoftheW 10 years, 9 months ago

The KDOT VISSIM study done last year was in response to concerns by KDOT about future development along 6th street. There is now several preliminary and final plans in place that have been approved since the VISSIM and also there are some verbage issues between KDOT and the city of Lawrence. The biggest is the break out of "retail commercial" and "non-retail commercial". The city took out sq ft numbers from the last VISSIM because the city did not considered all the commercial retail commercial. However, the city did not move those numbers to another column either and when Mr. Soules gave his report that the KDOT numbers were flawed it was based on the removal of non-retail commercial from the commercial column and then not moving the missing sq ft to another column. KDOT is presently working another VISSIM based on the numbers the city is giving them.

trinity 10 years, 9 months ago

i think the wallyworld dc did more to contribute to the utter crushing downfall of ottawa than did the retail store(s). ottawa went to hell in a handbasket with all the transplants. i've been gone from there for nearly a year-and it'd take an act of something to get me to move back there. just has changed far too much for my taste-and it ain't all wallyworld's fault. there are other factors to consider.

peppermint 10 years, 9 months ago

WWoftheW, thanks for the history.

Are you saying that, a few years ago, the city rezoned a piece of property based (at least in part) on how a proposed retail store would fit into the retail mix of the community?

How is it that suddenly the city is not allowed to consider any such thing? Mayor Hack even prohibited citizens from speaking about this at the May 1 city commission meeting. They were not allowed to talk about how a Wal-Mart would impact the retail mix in this community.

If the city once approved a 132,000 s.f. Home Depot and shortly thereafter a Lowe's got turned down for a 132,000 s.f. store, and nothing else had changed at that corner, I'd say the city had been unfair.

peppermint 10 years, 9 months ago

WWoftheW said: "KDOT is presently working another VISSIM based on the numbers the city is giving them."

I hope to heaven KDOT does the study while SCHOOL IS IN SESSION - not in the summer. Duh!!!

peppermint 10 years, 9 months ago

americorps: What I hear from them is, if you have to have a job at Wal-Mart, you deserve to be poor. I knew a teenager who worked at Wal-Mart in another city. They were the ONLY person on their entire shift of full-time workers who was not getting food stamps and Medicaid. The counseling about those services was a routine part of the new-hire process, and the forms were in the new-hire packet of forms.

blackwalnut 10 years, 9 months ago

Pilgrim: Do you care to comment on the concerns some have expressed regarding financial conflicts of interest that some members of the city commission allegedly have, regarding the land use issue? Maybe you can reassure us about that.

RKLOG 10 years, 9 months ago

Somehow my taxes managed to find me.

coneflower 10 years, 9 months ago


Interesting, thanks for that. It sounds like an experience I would reject even if my only other choice were to stick sharp needles in my eyes. But do you think that if Sue Hack's pet sales tax increase flies, those little towns' residents will be inclined to shop in Topeka instead of in Lawrence? Does 1% matter when buying large volumes of worthless crap that costs nothing? Since they only shop at Wal-Mart, I mean.

Why do we even need towns anymore? Why not just enclose everything inside a giant Wal-Mart? They could add the hospital department, the school department, the laundromat department, the movie theater department, the bar department, the child care department, the dining department... Everyone would work at Wal-Mart, and nobody would have to drive anywhere or cook. Everyone would be on food stamps and Medicaid.

ilovelucy 10 years, 9 months ago

karensisson: I'm beginning to believe that you have a crush on Compton.

karensisson 10 years, 9 months ago


As is apparently not the case where you are concerned, my affections cannot be purchased. How about a little public disclosure?

nell 10 years, 9 months ago

Still waiting for you to back up this claim, Richard:

":in some nationwide urban planning circles Lawrence,Kansas is being used as a model of how NOT to grow a community:"

Whatcha got? Anything? Anything at all? The crickets chirping are getting boring.

Pil grim, page through Larryville and find the reference. It's there. I'm not an old-timer in these parts, but it doesn't take much to observe that merrill pretty much always backs up his arguments with some resource (take it or leave it) and you do your best to avoid any accountability, much less try to increase your familiarity with the alphabet by looking something up.

blackwalnut 10 years, 9 months ago

Pilgrim wrote, "Only to the extent that it doesn't surprise me the most successful developer in town would have a relationship with the most successful insurance agency in town."

Thanks for the confirmation - not what I was hoping to hear, but thanks anyway. I'm sorry to learn the rumors are true.

"just inappropriate" - indeed!

Godot 10 years, 9 months ago

I spent the Memorial Day holiday traveling outside of Kansas. The shopping was wonderful. I have decided it is silly to waste time trying to find things worth buying in Lawrence when I can wait for the occasional trip elsewhere to fulfill my needs.

peppermint 10 years, 9 months ago

Godot: Is the Wal-Mart in Hot Springs fabulous?

coneflower 10 years, 9 months ago

Hey Godot,

But do they have a Wheatfield's? I think I would die without Wheatfield's.

No town of 90,000's shopping can be all things to all people. That is why God cast us out of the garden into a world with mail order and attractive UPS delivery people.

coneflower 10 years, 9 months ago

Merrill posted this on the Doug Brown Wal-Mart thread:

An aquaintance recently returned from an urban planning seminar and was somewhat stunned that Lawrence,Kansas was an example,among others, of HOW NOT to grow a community.

I knew I had read that somewhere in these forums. Hopefully merrill will elaborate.

coneflower 10 years, 9 months ago

RKLOG (Anonymous) says: Sounds like a voting issue to me.

If only! I'm convinced the city commission has no idea how much opposition there is "out here" to what they are about to shove down our throats. And I'm equally convinced that they don't care. Too much money to be made by all, and too many tangled conflicts of interest that I'm just beginning to learn about. At least the good ole boys' club of fat cats in Lawrence includes a girl.

KsTwister 10 years, 9 months ago

"Lawrence has also earned the distinction among some urban planners as how NOT to grow a community. Economic Displacement or Economic Growth:which do we want ... - 43k" This was an LJW article(May 27,2007) on the expensive PLAY Project(rec.sports complex). Hopefully, that will clear up some questions but has little to do with the topic without some stretching.

coneflower 10 years, 9 months ago

Pilgrim: I heard about that particular financial relationship also, but not from any online rumor. It also had a much darker aspect to it. Because I heard it second-hand, I won't repeat everything I heard here. But as a citizen, taxpayer and voter, I am concerned. I don't think the leader of our city is able to be objective, or to put the interests of the city and the citizens first.

coneflower 10 years, 9 months ago


"out here" is near Wakarusa and south of Sixth, your favorite part of town!!! Last I heard we were considered pretty mainstream over here. We have jobs, and everything!!!

janeyb 10 years, 9 months ago

With a new Walmart in North Topeka the Big Springs, Perry, Lecompton people can just as easily drive up there. I stopped there recently and if you can't buy it at Walmart there is a Dillons, KMart, Price Chopper right there too. There is a Sonic and I think a Spangles is going to be built right there. The traffic isn't bad--it's like 70mph going in there on 24 hwy and the Oakland expressway is easy access. It's even on the way to the casinos! Everything the "folks" need!

peppermint 10 years, 9 months ago

Liberal: Can you guarantee no party to any land use proposal would put any kind of pressure on any city commissioner that would affect that commissioner's pocketbook one way or another? I'm not talking about exercizing their right as a constituent to express a view and ask for the commissioner's support which is legal and ethical. I'm talking about adding money to the mix, one way or another. Can you guarantee that a commissioner would refrain from voting on an issue if such pressure or such a conflict of interest existed?

karensisson 10 years, 9 months ago

Liberal mentions "fair and consistent code"

As Gwen Klingenberg clarified in her editorial yesterday, the city never approved for 6th/Wak any store like any of the plans WM presented. Ever.

Richard Heckler 10 years, 9 months ago

What is the Myth of Development? Many hold a false belief that all development is good.

Examination of the facts shows this to be incorrect.

  1. No net gain in employment

While it is true that the company would have hired many employees, there would be no net gain in employment in the community. The total number of jobs in the retail sector is a function of the total spending in the retail sector. Adding new stores does not mean new spending. New stores do not add new people or new income. The new stores only displace workers from one store to another. We saw this when the Wal-Mart on south Iowa expanded; it caused the closure of the Food-4-Less. The gain in jobs at Wal-Mart was canceled by the loss of jobs at Food-4-Less.

  1. No net gain in income and possibly a loss

If retail workers will not see any increase in their numbers, will they at least see a gain in their wages? With Wal-Mart, the answer is "No". Kroger will probably close the Dillon's store at 6th and Wakarusa if a Wal-Mart opens at the intersection. The Dillon's workers will lose their wages and benefits. Wal-Mart is notorious for paying low wages and offering few or no benefits to its workers. Thus, there is certainly no gain in wages, and probably, there will be a loss. More workers will be without a health plan, leaving the community vulnerable to greater unpaid usage of the City's hospital facilities.

  1. No new sales taxes

Sales taxes from retail sales are paid by the consumer, not the vendor. Adding more stores does not increase the population or its income. It only changes the location where the sales tax is paid. Thus, adding a new Wal-Mart will not provide any increase in sales tax revenues for the community. It will only take it away from other stores and send it through Wal-Mart, with no net gain to the community.

  1. Short-term gain in property taxes with a long-term loss

There will be a short-term gain in property taxes. A new Wal-Mart store will pay property taxes. This is an immediate gain to the City. However, because the retail maket in Lawrence is saturated with a surplus of stores, opening a new Wal-Mart will only cause other stores to close. As these stores close, they are still subject to property taxes, even if they are empty. But chronically empty stores create blight that is expensive to fix through redevelopment. This redevelopment generally comes with high public expenditure. A short-term gain with a new store will be lost through the high, long-term cost of blight elsewhere in our community.

It is a myth to believe that all development is good. There is little doubt that growth is good, but excessive growth is cancer. Lawerence, like any growing community, needs to be smart. It needs to distinguish between well planned beneficial growth and growth that does not serve the long-term interests of the community.

peppermint 10 years, 9 months ago

Liberal: It is well known that this particular Wal-Mart that is being proposed is a "Gracie" model designed specifically to compete with Target.

(The secret is out: the old "Karla" stores aren't pulling in the sales they used to, as WM's typical customer has less to spend than before. Maybe the geniuses at Wal-Mart forgot something: that you have to support a community and a nation if you want to make money off them forever. You can kill the goose and have a feast, but then you won't have any eggs.)

You should listen to Wal-Mart, since you would believe them over all the studies all the other towns and business analysts have done.

Either way, the conclusion is the same. And you, of course, are in a position to know all this.

peppermint 10 years, 9 months ago

And Liberal: I'm disappointed you didn't reply to my post of 31 May 2007 at 8:43 a.m

phogm 10 years, 9 months ago

There seems to be a continuing thought, also expressed by some of our Commissioners that Jefferson County will cure the retail ills of Lawrence.

This is way off base for several reasons, (1) a good number already drive to 31st and Iowa for Wal-Mart and other nearby stores, (2) the distance between the 2 stores would be so minimal for those from out of town to be meaningless, and (3) the entire population of Jefferson County is so small compared to Lawrence that it doesn't matter if everyone in Jefferson County whose not already comming, decided to come to shop at this new Wal-Mart for all these goods. It's like dumping a thimble in a bathtub.

I used to live in western Kansas for many years and had to go 75 miles to buy anything other than the essentials. This talk of "convenience" for a second store boggles my mind.

Let's be realistic. A second Wal-Mart will canabalize some of its own existing customers (no gain in sales tax there), will shift some other in-town retail dollars for those who live nearby from existing businesses (no gain there), will not draw business from Topeka or Kansas City-obviously, they already have Wal-Mart's there (no gain there) and can't help downtown any which will make it less desirable for those from outside of town to shop there (a loss there). The net end result is a clear negative.

No one seems to realize that allowing this Wal-Mart here at this time will kill a Costco from going in out west at Mercato. At least that would actually offer a different shopping option and be a draw from the entire Topeka area. The overall net sales tax revenues for Lawrence would actually go up, not down as will be end result with a second Wal-Mart.

phogm 10 years, 9 months ago

4th_grade_education (Anonymous) says:

"...Realistically, the second Wal-Mart will actually increase sales taxes as it gives those who do not live near the other Wal-Mart a more convenient shopping option. Therefore, these people will be more likely to spend money that they would not have before. Also, the second Wal-Mart will keep more money in Lawrence as many people will have less incentive to go to Topeka or Kansas City for their shopping needs..."

People will not spend more money than they already have. Money doesn't come from nowhere. There's already a set amount to spend and already a Wal-Mart in Lawrence, among other places, to spend it. The only reason to go outside of town to shop is to get something that isn't here. That "something" is not a second Wal-Mart.

Just because a second Wal-Mart might be a little closer than the current one, doesn' t mean they will shop there instead of out of town. A second Wal-Mart is not going to stop ANYONE in Lawrence from going to Topeka or Kansas City to shop. The only thing that can stop some leakage is something DIFFERENT than Wal-Mart, such as a Costco.

For more details and the potential to actually be a realistic draw for those from outside of town, see my earlier post.

karensisson 10 years, 9 months ago

The only way a store at 6th/Wak is going to increase sales tax revenue is if it offers something that is not already offered in Lawrence -- and even then, it has to be something that people will buy IN ADDITION TO, not INSTEAD OF, things they are already buying in town.

To increase sales tax revenue, Lawrence has to keep dollars in Lawrence that are currently being spent out of town.

I don't think people are driving out of town to shop at a Wal-Mart because the one on South Iowa is too far.

The sales tax revenue argument is the weakest one of all from those who favor this project.

Emily Hadley 10 years, 9 months ago

Yeah, that drive from 6th and Wakarusa to 31st and Iowa is a killer.

Are you sure Wal-Mart had nothing to do with the demise of A & P and Gibson's? I am guessing they have more to do with it than we know. It isn't the one in Ottawa, but maybe it's the thousands of Wal-Marts in thousands of towns like Ottawa, each killing just a few local businesses and hurting just a few smaller chains.

karensisson 10 years, 9 months ago

4th_grade_education: Do you know anyone who goes to Topeka or Kansas city to shop at their Wal-Marts, rather than shopping at the one on South Iowa? If not, please explain how phogm's was a "wild absolute" statement. I'm listening.

karensisson 10 years, 9 months ago

Pilgrim: " about you don't pretend that Wal-Mart is responsible for every business that closes up in this or that town."

I wouldn't and didn't because you're right.

"You didn't have an answer for any of the Ottawa examples I listed."

I don't. I don't know anything about Ottawa. My WM stories are from different towns.

Please don't put words in my mouth.

karensisson 10 years, 9 months ago

Pilgrim, that's ok, I get you and Liberal mixed up all the time.

Richard Heckler 10 years, 9 months ago

Large scale retail projects in the town of Blacksburg, Virginia will face a lot more scrutiny because of a new zoning law passed yesterday. On May 14, 2007, Sprawl-Busters reported that the town of Blacksburg was going to vote on land use ordinance 1450, which would limit the size of retail buildings in town to 80,000 s.f. Larger buildings would require a special use permit issued by the town council. Jubilant residents tell Sprawl-Busters today that they have at least succeeded in getting their zoning law passed. "Last night, after a marathon 5-hour public hearing," citizens wrote, "the Blacksburg Town Council passed, by a 7-0 vote, an ordinance that will require a special use permit for any retail over 80,000 square feet. A grassroots effort by Blacksburg United for Responsible Growth (BURG) brought in petitions with over 3,500 signatures. This was more than the total number of votes cast in the last, hotly contested, mayoral election. Speakers at the hearing in favor of the ordinance outnumbered those opposed by a ratio of 8 to 1. Almost all of the opposition to the ordinance came from individuals with a direct stake in a development on South Main Street that includes a Wal-Mart Supercenter. The ordinance gives us the breathing room we need to have the thorough study and public discussion of the best way of regulating big box development. We will be looking at ways to strengthen the protections of the new ordinance.

phogm 10 years, 9 months ago

4th_grade_education (Anonymous) says:

"Do you know anyone who goes to Topeka or Kansas city to shop at their Wal-Marts, rather than shopping at the one on South Iowa? If not, please explain how phogm's was a "wild absolute" statement. I'm listening."

This is completely misrepresenting what I have said. There are many other stores besides Wal-Mart in this world.

NO. What you said was " Also, the second Wal-Mart will keep more money in Lawrence as many people will have less incentive to go to Topeka or Kansas City for their shopping needs."

Again, I repeat myself; NOBODY, and I mean NOBODY, who now shops for some things outside of town, is go to stop doing so because a SECOND Wal-Mart will be here. Whether or not there is a second Wal-Mart is meaningless. The same people will keep going out of town for things they can't get here. They can get everything at the existing Wal-Mart they can get at a second Wal-Mart. The only thing that can stop people from going outside of town is something like a Costco that has things that can't currently be purchased in town.

This is pretty basic stuff.

coneflower 10 years, 9 months ago

I had reason to be in Lenexa this evening. I got to chatting with a lady and the subject of all the growth around there came up. She - an old lady who's been living there a long time and has seen a lot of things - is upset that the same thing happening in Lawrence is happening there. For example, a Porter's came in, swearing they were only going to be open seasonally and sell garden stuff and not hurt the other two big box home improvement stores that were already nearby. The seasonal thing was never true. Now there are empty big boxes, she tells me.

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