Periodically, we’ve been mentioning Wal-Mart’s desire to build a super center in Monsey, NY, about 45 minutes north of New York City. There is considerable opposition to the store both from local elected officials and the surrounding community. Traffic is a major concern as is environmental impact, the affect on small businesses and the desire to use the site for another purpose.
Yesterday we met with the mayor of the area George Darden as well as his village attorney Bruce Levine. Mayor Darden is a staunch opponent to a super Wal-Mart in the area and he was very receptive to the idea of forming a labor/business/community coalition in opposition to the store. He and Levine mentioned that representatives from nearby senior centers, housing developments and schools as well as Orthodox Jewish leaders expressed considerable concerns about the negative impact a 215,000 sq. ft. Wal-Mart would have on their quality of life and local businesses.
We plan to continue working with the mayor and his constituents to grow this coalition and stop Wal-Mart in Monsey. The first step will be at the town’s planning board meeting March 7th at 8:00 p.m. where they will decide whether Wal-Mart needs to conduct a full Environmental Impact Statement for the development. If the board votes for this “positive declaration” then we have the first sign that they’re at the very least concerned about what a mammoth big box store would do to the environment an already congested road infrastructure. We will be at this meeting to signal to the planning commissioners that this development needs the closest scrutiny possible.