Walmart Around the Corner

I've recently heard news that Walmart has purchased a chunk of land about 2 miles from my house. Walmart had been paying to preserve the right to buy the site, so they could buy it when their building plan was approved. The township has been blocking it for a while, but it looks like Walmart is in for the long fight, since they've recently bought the land now, in spite of the townships opposition to building.

If it's the land I think it is, it's across from a small wetland. I've always assumed the wetland was there purposefully. There are usually groups of ducks crossing the road regularly for which everyone always stops and waits. It's quite cute. I can't see that they'll survive Walmart traffic. It doesn't seem to make sense that they'd get rid of the wetland either. It just seems incompatible.

Additionally, I don't think a Walmart in that spot would benefit the area too greatly. It's farmland right now with nothing around. Why not just build the Walmart in a shopping center where those things belong, not among fields.

I've always been frustrated with the current theories in urban development. Residential areas are neatly kept separate from commercial areas. Supposedly, this keeps traffic and disruption away from residential areas. I'd much rather have things near me though, even within walking distance. Zoning off everything like this necessitates the need for cars and increase traffic.

If these small stores and what-not were interspersed with the homes, I could easily walk there. That's why I wanted to live in a city. As a kid, I could never get anywhere, since I couldn't drive. I would have much preferred to be able to walk or bike to something, anything. My current house is still in one of these residential neighborhoods, but I'm at least a bit closer to civilization. I still must drive though, so my daughter will still grow up pretty isolated.

I'm all for smaller stores, but not a big mega-store necessarily. It's going to draw traffic more than serve the community. Once traffic picks up, I doubt it'll be safe to let Paige ride her bike down to there, even though it would be perfectly safe now.

If the Walmart goes in, I'll probably still shop there for some things, but I think I've already outgrown Walmart a bit. It's a great place if you're looking for cheap and functional, but variety is limited as is quality I think. Now that I can afford the slightly finer things, I'm a bit pickier about what I buy. I don't need to focus only on efficiency and price. It'll probably be good for nearby university students.

Lancaster Newspapers have a story (free anonymous survey/registration required) with some details.

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