Deceptive Planning Brings Wal-Mart To Disgruntled Community

<p>This piece from <em>The Roanoke Times</em> laments the coming of a Wal-Mart Supercenter, and blasts the planning process that let a proposed mixed-use walkable town center transform into a "big-box juggernaut".</p>
August 16, 2007, 5am PDT | Nate Berg
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"I'm angry about the bait and switch the developers pulled. Fairmount Properties pitched a mixed-use, upscale project to the town. People envisioned a pedestrian-friendly retail center with trees and benches."

"The developers and their backers stoked those dreams while seeking a zoning change."

"Then they showed up with a Wal-Mart, low-end hangers-on, fast food and a sea of asphalt. The promised "traditional neighborhood" design vanished."

"I'm infuriated that the town council changed the zoning to allow the project without getting everything in writing first. In the rush to boost Blacksburg's economy, council members let this happen."

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Published on Sunday, August 12, 2007 in The Roanoke Times
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