Issues concerning "Big Box" development
The following list is taken partly from a Planning Department memorandum
distributed at the April 18, 2002, meeting, and partly from the minutes of
the Subcommittee meetings.
- No input from adjacent neighbors on review of project, except at
final stage when presented to Mayor and Council.
Also no input after approval granted, with regard to monitoring
mitigations or consideration of changes in development plan.
- Applicability to Big Box building should mean
application to all buildings on site (setbacks, buffers, etc.)
- Setbacks + buffers too small.
- Late-hour or 24-hour operation.
- Compatibility (scale, architectural design
elements, all-night operation, etc.)
with adjacent residential development and in general with character
of surrounding city.
- Adverse impacts from adjacent loading, idling trucks, mechanical
- noise (idling trucks; (un)loading; mechanical equip.)
- light (in general and for adjacent neighbors)
- visual (scale of Big Box; scale of mitigation walls;
loss of scenic views; acres of asphalt)
- particulates (exhaust smoke, etc.)
- environmental (water run-off; heat from asphalt)
- Greater criminal activity in the adjacent neighborhoods.
- Devaluing of properties in nearby area.
- Storage of hazardous material in quantity (i.e., paint and
- Concern over what happens to vacant stores if developer leaves.
- Concern about what happens to "Mom and Pop" stores currently
serving the neighborhood if Big Box is developed.
- Obstruction of existing scenic views from residential
- Cannot develop a Big Box as a matter of right.
Even if all performance criteria met, cannot be guaranteed approval
at Mayor and Council hearing.
- Questions over procedural issues consume additional time.
- Some performance criteria subjective in nature, and open to
- Some (most? all?) performance criteria too restrictive.
- Food/groceries restriction to 10% blocks superstores.
- Redevelopment of vacant sites difficult (impossible?),
both Big Boxes left behind and smaller vacant buildings/sites
(< 100,000 ft. sq.) that are potential LRE locations.
- LRE is an asset to the community:
- provides low prices;
wide range of goods; single-stop shopping
- provides jobs
- LRE should be in every residential section,
so the poor who have no automobile can buy cheaply
- LRE is a detriment to the community:
- disrupts established businesses and shopping patterns
- inappropriate for some locations
- net negative economic impact:
loss of jobs with high-pay, high-benefits
- LRE should not be in some sections of the City:
- not near Historic Districts or Historic Buildings
- not near cultural or civic centers
(Parks, Community Center, etc.)
- LRE should be in some sections of the City:
- industrial areas
- near freeways
- Some LRE mechandisers have acted short-sightedly by attempting to
overturn the Big-Box Ordinance
(outsiders meddling, and appearing foolish and dishonest).
[So what's new? -
the recent GSI/roads fiasco puts the City one up over Wal*Mart in
the looking foolish and dishonest department.]
Last revised: May 31, 2002
John Rupley: email@example.com