Tuesday, June 13, 2006

2 Wal-Marts in Chico? I say Hell No.

I am an outspoken Libertarian. I like progress, and I love capitalism. It is what makes this country the best place for me to be. But even I have boundaries of what I feel is sensible and good for the community.

I read in the Chico ER today that there are to be two preliminary environmental reports issued this summer that will be open to public scrutiny. The subject: whether or not Wal-Mart should be allowed to put ANOTHER store on the north side of Chico where the Esplanade and 99 intersect. Wal-Mart plans to put a 242,000-square-foot supercenter there.

I am absolutely against this idea, and I urge anyone who lives in Chico to voice your opinions on the matter as well. Chico does not need another Wal-Mart. One is just fine. Maybe.

Putting another super-mega-box store on the North end of our town will ruin what is currently a relatively light traffic area. The constant flow of traffic will destroy cycling routes.

Ask yourself: Does Chico need ANOTHER Wal-Mart? Are you constantly finding yourself wishing there were another 200,000+ square foot "super" store nearby? Is your life incomplete without another Wal-Mart? Is north Chico really so far from the existing location that we can't get down there to purchase a bunch of low quality goods that were made in China? Do you want visitors passing through our town to be greeted from both the north AND south by a big ugly Wal-Mart? Do you want Wal-Mart to define the character of Chico coming and going? Hell no!

Think of it this way: We have a population of 100,000 or so. If there are two Wal-Mart superstores at approximately 250,000 square feet each, you could fit EVERY RESIDENT IN THE CHICO AREA INSIDE THE STORES AT THE SAME TIME, and EACH PERSON WOULD HAVE FIVE SQUARE FEET TO THEMSELVES. Does that sound reasonable to you?

I have only lived in Chico for a little over a year, but the idea of this makes me sick, and I hope that cyclists, runners, motorcyclists, drivers, farmers and ALL residents of Chico will band together and fight this one down.

Chico is growing. We all know that. But are we going to be active citizens that are involved in managing the growth of our town in a sensible way? Or are we going to sit back fat and happy until what makes Chico such a beautiful place to live is dead and gone?

It's time to nip this in the bud and take action.

  • Email city council
  • Email Mayor Gruendl
  • Email the city manager
  • Email the Editor of the Chico Enterprise Record

    Go away Wal-Mart. Chico does not need another one of you.

    Chico Cyclist said...

    I agree - we don't need another Wal-Mart - I can just imagine the mess that's gonna cause in that area of town.

    Unknown said...

    I'm with you on that! One should be enough. Glad I live on the southside... wait, I actualy don't live in the city limits. I wonder if city folks would care about my opinion?

    On a side note, did you know Costco is planning to build a new, larger store in Chico behind the current location?

    On a bright note, this will create space for the Costco gas station where the current store resides.

    I'd bash the idea but actually I'm happy about the gas station and having a wider selection of things in the store too. As well, if it weren't for Costco opening in Chico, I'd probably never have come to Chico and or never graduated from CSUC.

    Anonymous said...

    I agree with you in general about the effects of Wal-Mart and similar big box businesses on your community. I find it curious, however, that you preface your opinions by stating your libertarian leanings (I also see myself as a libertarian, mostly), since libertarians are a bit different from anarchists. In my view, libertarian notions extend only as far as one person's (or corporation's) behavior affects his (its) surroundings. If Wal-Mart could contain all the extra traffic and other undesirable effects to its own property, it would be fine. But as soon as an extra 20,000 cars a day go driving down Main Street because of the new store, the debate no longer centers on Wal-Mart's liberty to do as it pleases (whereas an anarchist would let Wal-Mart proceed without any checks or balances). As a libertarian, I say let the Wal-Mart be built, but insist that they provide for their own infrastructure improvements, and mitigate all their negative impacts, including seeing to it that your bicycling route is protected (assuming it's on the public right-of-way).

    You have a great blog. I'm pretty sure I left comments here once or twice before. BTW, I forgot to include the cross-top levers for your Rambouillet. I'll send them along in the mail.

    Gino Zahnd said...

    Hey Jim - Thanks for the comments. Although this time I don't want to let Wal-Mart be built. :-)

    Thanks for sending the levers!