Tuesday, May 14, 2013
How my hometown dealt with a Walmart moving in, a little insight from my old high school history teacher (who's also still on the Common Council) and a few questions I'd love to see pondered in public discussions.
Editor's Note: This column ran in March 2011 and I thought I'd resurrect it because of the newest proposal by Walmart in Caledonia. I just returned from a visit to Ohio and I wanted to add that Buehler's, a local food market located close to the Walmart in Wooster, is still in business. I don’t claim to have all of the answers about Walmart’s project in Caledonia, but I can tell you about how Walmart impacted my hometown. About 20 years ago, Walmart planted its boxy-blue presence on Burbank Road in Wooster, Ohio near the Mystic Meadows horse farm. At the time, the people living in the county produced everything: milk and trucks, paintbrushes and plastic containers, steel and oil, brakes and titanium gadgets. And up until 2009, we had …
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Despite heavy criticism from neighbors, the Village President wants to know if he has the Board's support to move forward with the Walmart project.
The Village Board will decide whether to draft an amendment to the land use plan at a Board meeting tonight that could allow a Walmart to be built on State Highway 31 and Four Mile Road. But the discussion won't be specific to just that corner. Rather, the Board will consider a study that could change the land use plan for all of Highway 31 in Caledonia. Tom Lebak, the village administrator, said that in order to move forward with any kind of commercial development, in this case Walmart, the land use plan would need to be changed. “The Village President requested that this item be put on the agenda,” Lebak said. “The bottom line is that he’ll be asking the board: do you want to proceed with the process of changing the land use plan, which …
Sunday, May 1, 2011
Caledonia man joined group opposing a Wal-Mart development, then took the no Wal-Mart sign out.
Sunday, May 1, 2011
To whom it may concern: People are asking everybody why I took down my no wal-mart signs. Well here here is the answer, I just did not want to look at them any more. I think we made the point. When I cut my grass, I dont want to cut around them. And no Wal-mart did not buy me out. See u on tuesdays meeting. Robyn Bertzyk 5410 State Road 31
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Wal-Mart officials talk about the status of 115,000 square foot store they said they wanted to build on the corner of Highway 31 and Four Mile Road.
Wal-Mart has yet to present any formal proposals to the Racine County Planning Department. So does that mean the project is dead? Maybe. But maybe not. Hundreds of people attended an informational meeting last month where Wal-Mart officials presented their preliminary plans to build a 115,000 square foot store on the corner of Highway 31 and Four Mile Road. Most of the people who attended the meeting opposed the project, but they also raised concerns that the project isn't allowed under the current land use plan, that the project would be too abrupt of a change in a low density residential area and that the project would negatively impact a conservation property located across the street. Lisa Nelson, a public affairs and government …
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Columnist, Jay Warner, says yes.
What a month! I’m just about to settle down to watch spring arrive, when Wal-Mart proposes to build a “small” store near Highway 31 and 4 Mile Road, on a parcel zoned “low density residential.” This would dramatically change Caledonia. People filled a Board meeting, a few hundred people came to an informational meeting hosted by Wal-Mart, an information filled web site appeared, a Facebook page aired opinions, and Caledoniapatch.com posted long discussions. Plus a write-in effort appeared. Putting on my “I love Caledonia” hat, I see two major points of issue, the location Wal-Mart proposes, and the need for tax revenue. Unless you like high drama confrontations (including the possibility of losing everything), we need to find a lower …
Saturday, April 2, 2011
Motivated to stop a potential Wal-Mart from coming in, the two candidates say they want the Village Board to follow the Land Use Plan.
A number of Caledonia residents gathered today to voice opposition to a proposed Wal-Mart and back two last minute write-in candidates. The 115,000 square foot store would be located on the corner of Highway 31 and Four Mile Road, which is currently zoned residential. Hundreds of people expressed outrage at a meeting held last week when Wal-Mart officials announced the plans. Still, no plans have officially been filed with the Racine County Planning Department. However, the Village Board is expected to decide at their next meeting whether they will entertain rezoning the property or encourage Wal-Mart officials to look at building on another property in the Village. Holding up signs and balloons, the group also passed out literature to …
Friday, April 1, 2011
The group is backing two write-in candidates just days before the election.
A group of residents want to prevent a Wal-Mart development from moving forward in Caledonia. So they’ve started a write-in campaign to run against two Village Board members, just days before the election on Tuesday. According to a Facebook page called No Wal-Mart in Caledonia, the group is backing David Gottardo to run against Kevin Wanggaard and Margo Tepley to run against Kathy Burton. The group issued a statement saying they want to “protect the Village's Land Use Plan, which prohibits commercial development at this low density, residentially zoned location.” Last month, officials from Wal-Mart announced plans to build an 115,000 square foot Super Center on the northwest corner of State Highway 31 and Four Mile Road. However, no plans …
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Find out what they think and their reasons behind what think.
Jim Dobbs My initial impression of the Wal-Mart project is that the site is not designated for that use, it’s designated as residential development. Also we have to be selective with development. Do we want to clog up that area with lights? If we let one business build there, what’s to stop more from coming in? And if that happens, then we’ll get a hodgepodge of different things in there. Unless there’s overwhelming support and the community wants to redo the land use plan, I’m not for changing it. In addition, everyone is so excited about Wal-Mart bringing $225,000 a year. But the Village will only see $70k of that $200,000 and they keep saying we can put that $200,000 into parks. The way I see it, Caledonia takes all the risk and …
Lisa Brennan talks about saving money and making money.
The economy is rough everywhere and while Caledonia has low unemployment, Racine is at 14 percent unemployment. This makes finding job opportunities difficult. I worked in Brookfield for three and a half years before I was laid off and let me say, being a single parent with a commute that long is difficult. Here’s the deal, I do not want to commute to work anymore. More than that, I only want to work when my son is in school, which was what I had before my old company started to go under. Here are some options, I have considered working from home, starting my own business, making odd cash here and there, and working part-time. So I began looking to see if there really are legitimate online companies that pay. Therefore, I am currently …
The project is in its infancy, but if it moves forward here's what the next steps would be.
A number of people voiced opposition to having a Wal-Mart on Highway 31 and Four Mile Road pointed to how the site is zoned residential. The Village land use plan does designate the property as residential. The project could move forward if land use plan was changed, which is often done. But in order for the Wal-Mart project to move forward, the Village Board would need to rezone the property to commercial and accept a conditional use permit. Julie Anderson, the zoning administrator for the Village, said Wal-Mart has yet to file any plans with her department and she hasn't formed an opinion either way about the project. Here’s how the process works: REZONING PROCESS This process can run concurrently with a land use plan amendment request. …