Residents in Papillion, Nebraska have forced Wal-Mart to put its superstore plans on hold. Here is a report submitted this week to Sprawl-Busters: “There is a group in Papillion, Nebraska fighting placement of a Wal-Mart on a residential corner where Wal-Mart held the city leaders hostage by threatening to take their SuperCenter across the street – and over $2,000,000 in sales tax revenue. The city gave in and approved a change to the comp plan to allow the Supercenter. The case is now in litigation, being led by a group of citizens. The case is on appeal to the Nebraska Supreme Court and the developer will not and cannot start construction while the appeal is pending. The case before the Supreme Court will be won by the neighbors.”
The revenues promised by Wal-Mart are substantially too high. The retailer never admits the net impact its stores will have once lost revenues from other store closings are subtracted from its gross revenue figures. For earlier stories on Papillion, search Newsflash by the name of the city. This case shows how effective citizen litigation can be in forestalling an eager developer. See the story about Leominster, Massachusetts for an example of how litigation ended a Wal-Mart supercenter in that community.