19 comments

  1. jm says:

    Democracy in action. The people voted. And the minority got screwed. I thought that was the essence of conservatism?

  2. StevePerkins says:

    I miss what politics was like before I started law school. I used to be able to just throw black-n-white, absolutist statements out there with the near-religious assurance that I was correct. In studying Property Law for class, however, I’ve found that most of the old hard-line positions I used to take are brittle and just don’t hold up to serious scrutiny at all. You know what? Zoning laws AREN’T unconstitutional… they aren’t even evil.

    Anyhoo… putting aside for a moment how funny it is to read about Roy Barnes as a property-rights champion, I have to wonder what Wal-Mart’s doing here anyway. The area we’re talking about is my neck of the woods, and there’s already a BRAND-NEW Wal-Mart location built just a couple miles from that spot. These things aren’t Starbucks… how many does Duluth really need?

  3. Chris says:

    I live less than a quarter mile from where this Wal-Mart would go. When I first got the notice (or read about it online) my first reaction was “WTF? you couldn’t drive the 1.2 miles to get to the one on Pleasant Hill?”

    Right now there is nothing commercial near where that WalMart would go. It would front PIB which is a 4-6 lane road. Sugarloaf is a 4 lane road. There is the capacity to support the traffic to this WalMart. I can see no legitimate reason not to allow the WalMart there.

    NIMBYism isn’t a legitimate reason.

  4. Jmac says:

    This would be a whole lot more dramatic if Duluth had actually banned the development … rather than instead place a moratorium, hardly an alien device employed by local governments, on those developments while an appropriate future land use and development study was conducted.

    There’s no ban. Just a delay.

  5. Jason O says:

    A delay can mean a lot of money in a development of this magnitude. Sometimes 30 days while a committee takes public comment can mean several million dollars. Aside from that, a good lawyer could probably make an argument that this moratorium is unconstitutional.

    I agree with Chris that this is a perfectly acceptable place for a commercial development, which in this case is a Wal Mart. I am not a fan of Wal-Mart, and avoid shopping there at all costs, but if they feel that the market is underserved, it is their right to build one there. Unfortunately for the landowner, if this were a Target being planned, they would be throwing a parade in his honor. But, these days, Wal-Mart is a curse word and invokes harsh rhetoric from normally rational people.

    As to democracy in action, citizens don’t get to vote against developments. That is what Comprehensive Land Use Plans are for. I fail to see how a 75,000 sq ft building in one commercial section of a city is acceptable, but the same building in another site in the same zoning category somehow causes public harm.

  6. IndyInjun says:

    We had the same thing in Columbia County.

    There was already a Wal-Mart in Martinez, when the company decided to build a new supercenter only 4 miles away in Evans. The “anti’s” wailed that the supercenter would result in abandonment of the Martinez store due to the close proximity of the two buildings.

    As this is being typed, the old store is being expanded into a Supercenter and the Evans store has produced a tax cornucopia for the county.

    In that instance, there was an uproar and an attempt to ban all big box retailers with a “town center” ordinance. It might have worked too, but for the property rights ‘knuckleheads’ nearly rioting over what the ordinance meant.

    There are no more precious aspects to our constitution than the equal protection and due process clauses of the 5th and 14th amendments. The temptation to single out certain landowners was well understood by the founders of our republic.

    Wal-Mart has pretty good lawyers, too.

    BTW, Evans now has Wal-Mart, Target, and Lowes “big boxes” with a Home Depot being erected. All of the former ‘Anti’s” thoroughly enjoy shopping in them, too!!!!

    Relax and enjoy the added sales tax revenue!

  7. Bill Simon says:

    Chris,

    Driving 1.2 miles is driving 1 mile further than necessary if someone wants to plunk a Wal-Mart down there.

    See, people sure like to whine about the “traffic” but they never stop and think about what CAUSES the traffic.

    It is caused by people having to drive further and further to obtain something that, if there was a source closer by, they would not get on the roads and stay on the roads as long as they do.

    Here’s the slogan I’m gonna sell to Wal-Mart: Wal-Mart. We will solve your traffic problems.

    In short, Wal-Mart = Less Traffic and More Time With The Family. (of course, I know Rugby_fan won’t be able to comprehend this because it uses the = sign)

  8. StevePerkins says:

    Hell, put a Wal-Mart on every street corner in Gwinnett if it keep the freaks and morons and families-shopping-with-all-14-kids out my neighborhood Target.

    I have nothing to do with the “Wal-Mart is ‘evil’ for being capitalist” bandwagon. People have the freedom and responsibility to make their own decisions. I just don’t for the life of my get why anyone would deal with the hassle and headaches of your typical Wal-Mart dump, when you only save a few nickels here and there vs. shopping at Target or some other store. Even a brand-new “nice” Wal-Mart is still a cesspool, that gives a migraine trying to shop.

    In all objective fairness, there’s nothing about the STORE itself that makes Target better than Wal-Mart… it’s just the difference people who shop there. Having prices be 0.0001% cheaper somehow is enough for Wal-Mart to siphon away all the people you’d never want to be around, and make Target more pleasant. It makes no sense at all to me, but that’s how society operates. It’s the same kind of bizarre human psychology behind half of Atlanta being willing to sit on I-20 for 12 hours a few months back, because some radio station told them they might save a few bucks at Six Flags. Some PhD should write a thesis on this phenomenon.

  9. IndyInjun says:

    Steve Perkins:

    Throw your money away at Target, if you wish, I will stick to Wal-mart with the ‘trailer trash’ and the savings.

  10. Doug Deal says:

    Injun,

    And don’t forget about the Chinese made poisonous toys, clothing, toothpaste, paint and pet food you can find there. Well worth the couple of cents you save.

  11. IndyInjun says:

    Doug:

    I would say that the poisonous financial exports of Wall Street that will steal several $trillion from China, not to mention the rest of us, will be sufficient retribution, no?

    They send poison toys to us and we send toxic financial waste to them.

    Woe be unto us when they wise up.

  12. jsm says:

    I fought Wal-Mart when they wanted to locate in a bad spot just north of Gainesville. The reasons against them boiled down to the lack of adequate traffic access to the site. Opponents and the County even recommended other nearby sites that were better suited for the store and the traffic around it. In the end, Wal-Mart lost, got huffy, and took their ball and went to another county.

    This case appears to be very different to me. It seems like a very fitting location for the store due to the major intersection of two 4-lane roads adjacent to the property. The only road that may experience problems would be Chattahoochee Drive. I don’t get the reasons for opposition.

  13. Federalist says:

    Personally, I like the local markets around my neighborhood. Wal-Mart puts them out of business. Perhaps that is why there is opposition. Oh yeah, and then there is the drop in property value when Wal-Marts open near your neighborhood…like when a power plant or paper factory opens up in your back yard. Depending on what type of Wal-mart is opening up there could very likely be a spike in crime in the area because of the geo-demographic shift.

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