Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Journal News Says No!- to Wal-Mart in Monsey

In today's Rockland Journal News the paper editorializes against the building of a Wal-Mart supercenter in Monsey, N.Y. In doing so the paper praises the Town of Ramapo for scoring "a win for planning common sense by requiring that the developer...provide a study of its economic ramifications." This precisely what the Alliance had been urging the planners to do and the the Board's chair, Sylvain Klein, properly made sure that the study was included.

The JN feels that the economic impact analysis could (should?) "highlight the good reasons why there should not be a super center or other major developments in the congested Monsey corridor." The paper feels that the project could "hinder renewal and force store closings" in Spring Valley and along Rt. 59 in Monsey.

One key point that the Journal adds is the need for the Ramapo planners to look at the report "with healthy skepticism." Which is precisely why the Alliance, much as it has done in NYC in its BJs and Wal-Mart fights, plans to do its own impact analysis in conjunction with both the Ramapo Jewish Chamber of Commerce and the Spring Valley Chamber. Ramapo simply cannot rely on the self serving data provided by National Realty and Development Corp.

Finally, the JN tells the Ramapo planners to"have the courage of your convictions" and be prepared to "say 'No' to whatever you must in the interest of the people." One important point is left out here, however. The one man who holds the fate of this project in his hand is Ramapo supervisor St. Lawrence and we've been hearing that he may not have the same degree of healthy skepticism toward Wal-Mart that the JN has.

If true, you can depend that he will be hearing from the good folks in Monsey and Spring Valley. If he listens to the voice of the people than there is a good chance that the Wal-Mart project won't "damn the St. Lawrence."