Monday, October 15, 2007

Handwriting on the Monsey Wal-Mart?

In today's Journal News, the paper reports on the stymied efforts of the Walmonster to make it into the final stages of the Ramapo review process. The Ramapo Planning Board is exercising proper due diligence in insisting that the store's developer provide as much detail as possible in regards to the mega impacts that Wal-Mart will have in the surrounding community. As the Journal says; "Since the Planning Board voted 5-1 in August against accepting a proposed environmental impact statement offered by the developer, the town has been awaiting revisions to the plan. The developer will have to first bring the new proposals to the Community Design and Review Board, which advises the Planning Board, before getting back onto the latter's agenda, Richard Ackerson, deputy town attorney for building, planning and zoning, said Friday."

But the big news in this morning's paper is the fact that Ramapo supervisor Chris St. Lawrence has apparently seen the light, particularly on the traffic nightmare that the Walmonster would generate, and is going public with his opposition to the store: "It's a regional store, but there's no regional solution," St. Lawrence said of traffic. "A store that size should be on a major highway, not on two-lane Route 59."

This is indeed good news, and it reflects the fact that the location chosen for this development is certainly far from ideal. It is why the project has instilled fierce opposition from our Alliance, and from the Monsey/Spring Valley communities: "Residents, merchants and local officials have expressed concerns about the traffic that the store would generate - 10,500 cars on Sundays and 8,000 on other days has been estimated by the Neighborhood Retail Alliance - and the impact it would have on side streets as well as main roads."

So, as the opposition hardens to this unnecessary intrusion on the surrounding residential neighborhoods, it is hoped that the developer, National Realty, will get the message: find a better location and stop throwing good money after bad.