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Don’t let Walmart hone in on East Patchogue

Public Hearing about
a potential, new, East Patchogue location for
Walmart

to be held at the Town of Brookhaven Town Hall,
in  Farmingville
January 9, 2012 at 4:00 pm

Please attend, to give your input on development, land use, and the business community in your town.

One civic group who is activated on this issue is Focus East Patchogue: here.

An excellent opinion piece by the
President of the Greater Patchogue Chamber of Commerce
at the Patchogue Patch: here.

Background info, and opinions, from a civic leader:

RE: WALMART APPLICATION

This is a COMMOM SENSE appeal to all  Patchogue-Medford residents to consider the arrogance of this company  and its representatives, as well as the challenge they present to the  people and our Town Government. We have not begun to add up the cost in tax dollars to address this application. In the past few years they  have refused to withdraw their application even though they have other  locations and opportunities within our area, and they know and  understand the wishes and concerns of the people who oppose them  building at the Hospital Road location. This is not a local builder  trying to earn a living, whereby you can negotiate and reason together, but rather an international corporation that looks only to
numbers on paper and not people or communities.

The Town Planning Board will hold a PUBLIC HEARING at the January 9th  meeting at Town Hall, regarding WALMART.  Please make every effort to  attend, at least to show support for our OBJECTION to this  application. If it happens that I cannot attend and speak, I will  submit to the board and post our objections on line.  To date I still  have not received a letter from the Walmart Board of Directors.  I did  receive a letter from the NY Representative of Walmart attempting to  make excuses for not locating at the abandoned Bellport property.

Our correspondence was addressed to the CEO and Board of Directors of  Walmart, and proper business courtesy is for the office of the CEO to  at least acknowledge receipt of the letter and reply.  They did not.  Our letter was dated June 1, of 2011.  This is a very clear indicator  of the kind of company we are dealing with.  We are just another  location with numbers and statistics, not a community of people.  A  small company builds their business on ‘good will and personal  service’ which leads to financial profit, local jobs and circulation  of money within the community.

I believe that Mayor Pontieri expressed an economically clear point,  published in the LI Advance this week.  You and I as Focus members can  relate and agree.  The Village, the Town, the County and our Federal  Governments have all invested millions of dollars into the Main Street  area of Patchogue, in order to REVITALIZE our area.  This single  project threatens all of our work and our tax dollars we have  invested. This point is far more important than the convenience of a  few low prices on merchandise you can also obtain elsewhere and even
on line.

This application poses a more important question, which the community and taxpayers need to have answered.  What is the purpose of a Planning Board if they do not have the legal authority to decline or deny an application, such as this senseless proposal?  Does the power of an international company override the authority of local government?  What is the purpose of our governments if Walmart, for example, can force our Town to approve their application merely because it is business zoned or afraid to be sued?  Shall an adult shop be located on Hospital Road just because the land is zoned business?  Oh, but we have a detail in the law about Adult Shops? Does this mean that we must have a detail in the law for every conceivable business that might ever exist?  No, and I believe the court would agree.

There must be a time when the government authority can say no and the answer would even be upheld in court.  This is one of those times. The tax dollars that will be lost, The loss of jobs, the work and efforts for revitalization, even the future opening of our Best Yet Supermarket, in the Spring, the recently opened Shop Rite, less than one mile from this location, Pathmark, and Stop and Shop,  are all in jeopardy because of this one single application.  The Town Planning Board must STOP this tax dollar money pit of an application, NOW!  Our
Town Board needs to review their authority in issues such as this one and exercise their authority as well.

If WALMART cared about our community they would have withdrawn their application a few years ago.  They are forcing our government agencies to spend our tax dollar time to investigate the impact of this useless project in the woods, while more important matters are put to the side. The wise thing for our Planning Department to have done was deny
the application and so state that we will not allow a single business to dominate the area. It was never the intention of the business zoning to allow this type of business, nor did they exist years ago when this land was zoned…
>
>  Let Walmart sue the Town.  What it has cost us to date in time and
> labor, it would have been more economical and more important to have
> allowed the Court to once and for all define who has the authority to
> run a community and govern, an international corporation or the Town
> Government, its elected officials and those appointed to approve or
> reject a project on the basis of the public good, economics and public
> need!
>
> If you are a Walmart shopper and you enjoy their sales, you can always
> shop at their Riverhead, Middle Island, Centereach or Islandia Stores,
> all of which are located in large shopping centers open to a main
> highway with established roads designed to handle large numbers of
> vehicles.  Please consider the game they are playing and how they are
> using you to play the emotional game of ‘convenience’, while in
> reality they will destroy Hospital Road.  Clearly this is not the
> correct location for this kind of business.
>
>  When they own the property and build their structure, what will
> happen to the area in the years to come when they eventually close the
> store? We need to care now about tomorrow, our children and
> grandchildren. Focus is about building today for tomorrow, not what
> seems to be right for the moment.  It would also be interesting to
> learn why WALMART has a love for this PROPERTY IN THE WOODS and not
> more suitable commercial locations?  Who are those owners and dealers
> behind the scenes who apparently will make lots of money from this?
>
> Our public meeting against Walmart should be in a court of law, not
> the Town Planning Board.
>
> Stay well and God Bless

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