Thursday, April 20, 2006

Spitzer: More Smart Growth, less Wal-Mart

The NY Sun’s Jacob Gershman reports on a policy pronouncement by Eliot Spitzer concerning the concept smart growth. The most interesting aspect from our perspective is how Spitzer’s view of development may affect Wal-Mart and similar box stores:

In recent policy speeches, the state attorney general has raised the banner of "smart growth," a development and land use strategy that favors building neighborhoods that are compact and have a main street feel, taking advantage of existing infrastructure, and protecting open spaces and farmland. It opposes suburban and exurban sprawl, driving, and "big-box" stores like Wal-Mart.
Gershman does mention that there is opposition to the smart growth idea but at least from our experience in NY such planning and restrictions, at least in certain instances, make sense. Considering that the proposed Wal-Mart in suburban Monsey will add hundreds of thousands of car trips to an already congested area – a situation also seen in Staten Island – Spitzer’s rethinking of economic development and planning is needed.