Last year (see 1/28/99 newsflash from index) we reported that a developer in Walpole, New Hampshire had accepted defeat of a Wal-Mart store with grace. In fact, the developer compared trying to get a Wal-Mart into Walpole like trying to roll a snowball up hill. Well, it seems that the momentum of defeating Wal-Mart in Wal-pole has made that snowball grow even more imposing. According to WMUR TV, “Wal-Mart is not welcome in Walpole, NH.” By a margin of 5 to 1, residents in Walpole at their town meeting have overwhelmingly voted to place a cap of 40,000 square feet for new retail stores. “Supporters of the zoning limitations,” said WMUR, “say attempts to bring Wal-Mart into the community encouraged them to campaign for restrictions.” The article that passed Town Meeting did not single out Wal-Mart, but simply put a size cap in place that will make it impossible for stores like Wal-Mart, Home Depot or Target to locate a superstore in this beautiful New Hampshire community. To twist the state’s slogan a little: “Live (Wal-Mart) free, or die.” The Wal-Mart developer last year said: “I have no interest in bringing in something that the people don’t want.” Now the people of Walpole have shut the door and bolted it.
For further information about other communities that have imposed size caps on retail stores, contact [email protected] Such caps are a simple and very effective way to keep superstores from darkening the door of your town.