Using Zoning To Survive Wal-Mart's Arrival

Community stands up to Wal-Mart with the help of zoning.
March 15, 2004, 8am PST | Abhijeet Chavan | @legalaidtech
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State revenue sharing policies make playing off one community against another harder in Wisconsin and ordinances to regulate big-box design are cropping up all over the place. From Delavan and Watertown to Plymouth and Baraboo communities are setting new standards. Nearby Oregon, a fallback if Wal-Mart gives up on Stoughton, is already talking about such an ordinance.The state's spread-the-wealth formula for revenue-sharing means that a community's tax-base gains from a big-box store are "at best a wash." "Small-town residents can't do much to hold back the tide of globalism that brings Americans both cheap goods and depressed wages; love it or hate it, Wal-Mart isn't going away anytime soon. But through their zoning powers, communities can at least control what big-box stores will look like. And that, in turn, is one way to prevent engaging little places like Stoughton from turning into Anywhere USA."

Thanks to Bud Laumer

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Published on Sunday, March 7, 2004 in Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
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