Citizens in Milford, Ohio are getting into the SWIM to capsize a proposed Wal-Mart store in their community. According to Channel 9, WCPO TV, a new group called S.W.I.M. has formed to sink the Wal-Mart plan. The group “Stop WalMart In Milford” has retained an attorney to represent them against a superstore to be located at State Route 28 and the I-275 interchange. Members of SWIM say the store would cause serious traffic congestion, and cause water runoff problems in the area. “We like our small town, its quality of life. I think it’s going to affect the quality of life in Milford,” one resident told the TV station. In Milford’s downtown, many merchants have posted “Stop Wal-Mart” signs. The land Wal-Mart wants to build on is not properly zoned, and the city council will have to rezone the land for the retailer. Another negative consequence of a rezoning is the fact that nearly 100 residents in a mobile home park will have to be displaced and moved off the site. In the middle of the land Wal-Mart wants is the Theilmans Trailer Park. “A lot of women have taken their life savings to buy these homes and now they’re going to have to move. They don’t have anywhere to go. A lot of the mobile home parks won’t take the older homes,” one mobile home owner told Channel 9. Ironically, there is already a Wal-Mart only six miles away in Eastgate, Ohio. The Milford City Council will hold a meeting on January 14 to discuss the rezoning. The Milford Planning Commission will first pass their recommendation onto the City Council.
What is it with Wal-Mart and trailer parks? Companies like Wal-Mart and Home Depot seem to have a predeliction for mobile home parks, as if the residents there are mere impediments to “progress”, and can easily be removed. Affordable housing in many of these communities is at a premium, but often trailer parks are viewed as marginal housing that can be razed to make way for commerical use instead. For other stories about how big box retailers try to muscle trailer park residents out of their homes, search this Newsflash page by “mobile homes”.