Friday, June 16, 2006

More Monsey Heat on Wal-Mart

We have already reported on the decision of the Ramapo Planning Board to expand the scope of the Wal-Mart EIS. We did,however, miss Sulaiman Beg's story in the Journal News that previewed the action last Sunday. The story did report that the Board had insisted that the developer would have to "complete a more comprehensive traffic study" but didn't yet have the information that it would also insist on the economic impact analysis that the Alliance had requested.

The paper did underscore the Alliance's concerns and the Board's reaction two days later indicates that it is possible to get the planners to recognize some important variables if the proper effort is made. We will continue to do this since awareness of the development and its potential impact is not clearly understood by the nearby communities.

That is why we have been working with the nascent Ramapo Jewish Chamber of Commerce and its founder Abe Stauber. Yesterday we met with a group of Abe's retailers in Monsey and, unlike Frank Garcia's make believe ballroom, these are real store owners with real concerns about the potential impact of Wal-Mart on their businesses. When all is said and done we think that this is one Chamber that will have a big impact on the outcome in Monsey.