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Opposition to Caledonia Walmart Gathers Steam

A number of people in Caledonia don't like the idea of a Walmart in their neighborhood, but their fight may include one large challenge — the village land-use plan.

Following the news that Walmart may build a store in Caledonia, anti-Walmart signs have been cropping up along North Green Bay and 4 Mile roads.

In September, Walmart announced that it would like to build a 24-hour general merchandise store on the southeast corner of that intersection. Company officials say the store will create 300 jobs, most of which are expected to be full-time. They haven’t presented any plans to the Village Board. However, they plan to host an informational meeting next week.

Since the announcement, residents have also been passing out fliers to organize a group opposing the project, more than 140 people have joined a Facebook group called “No Walmart In Rural Caledonia,” and a local resident is hosting an informational/strategy meeting to present a unified opposition to Walmart on Saturday.

“Between the noise pollution, being open 24 hours a day, the impact on our residential area — I think it’s going to destroy our neighborhood."

Katie Tiderman, a real estate agent who lives on North Green Bay Road, said she decided to organize the meeting after she went door to door passing out fliers to drum up opposition to the project.

“Everyone that I’ve talk to is strongly against it and we want to present a united front against it,” Tiderman said. “Between the noise pollution, being open 24 hours a day, the impact on our residential area — I think it’s going to destroy our neighborhood. I also don’t think the size of our community will support that store.”

But the opposition may have some challenges to overcome because a Walmart would be allowed on that site under the village's land-use plan, which officials use to determine what kind of development should go where in Caledonia.

Mark Janiuk, the village administrator, said the land-use plan would allow for a grocery store to be built on the property as a permitted use. However, the land is currently zoned industrial and residential. So, if the project were to move forward, the property would need to be rezoned.

“Ultimately, the Village Board needs to decide whether they want to rezone the property, but the decision has really already been made in the land-use plan,” Janiuk said. “However, if the board doesn’t rezone the property and Walmart should happen to take this to court, the courts are going to be more receptive to Walmart because the village has already adopted that as an intended use in their land-use plan.”

This scenario is different than the property Walmart officials had considered on 4 Mile Road and Highway 31 in 2011 because the land-use plan designated the property as residential, which meant the land-use plan and the zoning for the property would have had to be changed for the project to move forward.

"If the (Village) Board doesn’t rezone the property and Walmart should happen to take this to court, the courts are going to be more receptive to Walmart."

The village has also studied the impact of different types of development in Caledonia.

In September 2011, the board hired Ehlers, a consulting firm, to analyze what types of developments would be suitable for the village and how much tax revenue would needed to be generated to support the operation of the village.

The study, which was presented in November, specifically looked at how commercial development would impact the village, which they said would be “relatively minor.”

However, according to the study:

Dependent upon whether the commercial development is “big box” or traditional “strip” commercial, will determine the impact. Big box type development typically will have greater draw on policing and emergency responses due to patronage volume.

Tiderman said she has looked at the land-use plan and the zoning map, and finds the plan confusing.

“On page 27 of the land-use overview states this Village Center Area allows for commercial and grocery," she said. “They also talk about percentages dedicated to different uses within that area. Again, I don’t see a Supercenter working within that plan.”

Tiderman plans on having a meeting to discuss Walmart at 6 p.m. Saturday at her home.

Walmart will host a neighborhood meeting to present the project and seek citizen input from 6 to 7:30 pm Oct. 17 at the North Park School, 4748 Elizabeth St., in the gymnasium.

An official from Walmart did not immediately return a phone call for this story.

Cares4 October 21, 2012 at 02:05 AM
CALEDONIA NEEDS ANOTHER STORE BESIDES K MART, FOR ONE K MART DOES NOT HIRE AS MUCH AS WALMART AND THEY DO NOT KEEP MOST OF THEIR EMPLOYEES AFTER THE HOLIDAYS WHEREAS WALMART KEEPS ALL THEIR SEASONAL EMPLOYEES AS REGULAR EMPLOYEES INSTEAD OF LETTING THEM GO TO COLLECT UNEMPLOYMENT. DONT GET ME WRONG I SHOP AT K MART AND LOVE THE FACT THEY HAVE A LAYAWAY, BUT THEY ARE NOT 24 HOURS AND THEY DO NOT HAVE A LARGE ENOUGH GROCERY SECTION TO DO ANY SHOPPING. PICK N SAVE CLOSES AT WHAT 11 PM SO WHAT ABOUT THE PEOPLE WHO WANT TO STOP IN ON THEIR WAY TO MAYBE MILWAUKEE LATE AT NIGHT NO LUCK CAUSE THEY ARE CLOSED. WHAT ABOUT IF SOMEONE WANTED TO PICK UP A SITE TO STORE ITEM ON THEIR WAY OUT OF RACINE VIA DOUGLAS NO SUCH LUCK THEY WOULD HAVE TO SWING AROUND AND GO COMPLETELY OUT OF THE WAY TO PICK IT UP AT THE STURTEVANT LOCATION. CMON HAVING WALMART IN CALEDONIA MAKES A WHOLE MORE SENSE THAN NOT HAVING THEM. OPENING THAT NEW MARKET ON HWY 20 I WILL ADMIT IS A DUMB IDEA CAUSE IT IS TOO CLOSE TO THE HWY 11 LOCATION AND THEN THERES ONE IN KENOSHA ON 31 TOO THATS JUST WAY TOO CLOSE. THE NORTHSIDE IS IN NEED OF ANOTHER OPTION TO SHOP BESIDES PICK N SAVE, WALGREENS AND K MART.
Cares4 October 21, 2012 at 02:07 AM
GOOD IDEAS BUT WHO HAS THE COURAGE TO VOICE THEM TO PEOPLE THAT WILL DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT? HOW ABOUT INCLUDING THE MINORITY CHILDREN IN THESE PLANS? WHAT ABOUT THE FAMILIES THAT CAN NOT AFFORD RECREATIONAL ACTIVITIES, EVERYTHING ALWAYS HAS A HIGH PRICE TAG ATTACHED TO IT IN ORDER FOR KIDS TO PARTICIPATE. WHY NOT COME UP WITH SOMETHING THAT ACTUALLY INCLUDES THE PEOPLE THAT CALL CALEDONIA HOME?
Cares4 October 21, 2012 at 02:14 AM
WHAT ABOUT THE PEOPLE THAT HAVE LIMITED TRANSPORTATION AND CAN NOT GO MILES AWAY TO SHOP AND WITH THIS LOCATION CAN LITERALLY WALK TO THE STORE? CMON PIGS IS SUPER EXPENSIVE AND IS TARGETED TOWARD CAUCASIAN PEOPLE OF A UPPER CLASS SOCIETY NOT THE STRUGGLING SINGLE PARENT HOME OF A MINORITY FAMILY FOR REAL. ALDIS IS ONLY OPEN AT CERTAIN HOURS WALMART WOULD PROVIDE AN OPPORTUNITY FOR THOSE THAT WORK THEM UNCONVENTIONAL HOURS TO SHOP AND NOT HAVE TO TRAVEL SO FAR TO DO SO. AS FOR DRINKS AND DINNER ARE YOU KIDDING MOST PEOPLE ARE TRYING TO KEEP GAS IN THEIR VEHICLES AND GET TO WORK NOT BLOW MONEY ON STUPID STUFF LIKE DRINKS AND DINNER OUT. IT IS THE CLOSED MINDED PEOPLE SUCH AS YOURSELF THAT WILL END UP BLOCKING AN OPPORTUNITY FOR THOSE WHO NEED JOBS TO HAVE TO KEEP LOOKING AND COLLECTING UNEMPLOYMENT.
Cares4 October 21, 2012 at 02:17 AM
LOVE YOUR COMMENT! THESE PEOPLE NEED TO REALLY TAKE A LOOK AROUND AND SEE WHY CALEDONIA LOOKS LIKE A GHOST TOWN IN THE FIRST PLACE, BECAUSE THEY ARE ALWAYS OPPOSING EVERYTHING! AND IF THEY REALLY CARED ABOUT THE PEOPLE THAT LIVE IN CALEDONIA THEY WOULD STOP ALL THIS OPPOSING MESS AND LET WALMART BUILD SO RESIDENTS OF CALEDONIA CAN WORK!
Cares4 October 21, 2012 at 02:21 AM
WHAT A BIG LIE! AT 9 PM AT THE STURTEVANT LOCATION IT IS BUSY BECAUSE THAT LOCATION IS THE ONLY ONE WITH CHEAPER PRICES AND IT IS WAY OUT THERE SO OF COURSE EVERYONE HITS THE BEST SPOT ALL AT ONCE. CALEDONIA HAD THE BUSES STOPPED AT THE SHORECREST PLAZA SHOPPING CENTER FOR A WHILE WHY? CALEDONIA IS SLOWLY DYING AND NO ONE HAS A CLUE ON HOW TO REVIVE THE VILLAGE BECAUSE THEY ARE ALL POINTING THEIR FINGERS AT STUPID THINGS.

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